BBC looks to renew Top Gear in 2016

"This will be a big challenge and there is no point in pretending otherwise," admits director-general Tony Hall after deciding not to renew presenter Jeremy Clarkson's contract

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BBC director-general Tony Hall has insisted that Top Gear will aim to return in 2016 – despite the fact that Jeremy Clarkson has been dropped by the Corporation.

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Hall said in a statement that even though Clarkson’s contract will not be renewed, he hopes that Top Gear will continue to broadcast next year. He admitted however that it will be a “big challenge” to continue making the programme.

Hall added that he had asked Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC2, how best to deal with the remaining three episodes of the current series, which were pulled from the schedules as the inquiry into Clarkson’s “fracas” with a Top Gear producer continued.

“The BBC must now look to renew Top Gear for 2016,” said Hall. “This will be a big challenge and there is no point in pretending otherwise. I have asked Kim Shillinglaw to look at how best we might take this forward over the coming months. I have also asked her to look at how we put out the last programmes in the current series.”

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It is unclear whether co-presenters James May or Richard Hammond will continue working on Top Gear. In 2012 all three presenters signed three-year contracts to host the show.

Jeremy Clarkson dropped by BBC after Top Gear fracas

Read Tony Hall’s full statement