Jeremy Clarkson says he knows he will do “another car show” after revealing the circumstances that cost him his job at Top Gear, a show he loved “like my own child”.
The presenter, dropped in March for an ‘unprovoked physical attack’ on producer Oisin Tymon, said that he had had a cancer scare at the time of the incident, although he has since been given the all-clear.
Writing in his Sunday Times column, Clarkson said, “Two days before the ‘fracas’ I’d been told, sternly, by my doctor that a lump on my tongue was probably cancer and that I must get it checked out immediately.
“But I couldn’t do that. We were in the middle of a Top Gear series. And Top Gear always came first.”
The 55-year-old presenter said that it was “the most stressful day I have ever had in 27 years at the BBC,” but added that “everyone has stressful days, and they manage to cope better than I had.”
He wrote how he had considered giving up television work, but now believes he will make another car series – although he is not sure whether fellow presenters James May or Richard Hammond will be involved.
“I have lost my baby but I shall create another,” he said. “I don’t know who the other parent will be or what the baby will look like, but I cannot sit around any more organising my photograph album.”
Clarkson explained that Top Gear had become an obsession following the death of his mother and the break-up of his marriage. “It was an all-consuming entity, a many-tentacled global monster that was dysfunctional and awkward and mad but I loved it with a passion. I loved it like my own child,” he said.
BBC director-general Tony Hall announced on 25 March they would not be renewing Clarkson’s Top Gear contract. Clarkson said that when he heard the decision, he “felt sick because after I’d lost my home and my mother, I’d thrown myself even more vigorously into my job and now, idiotically, I’d managed to lose that too.”
The BBC have said they are aiming to bring back Top Gear – without Clarkson – in 2016, but the presenter says he has plans to make a different series: “I just know I’m going to do another car show,” he wrote.