Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear “fracas” – what the BBC report says really happened

Investigator Ken MacQuarrie recounts how producer Oisin Tymon was the subject of an "unprovoked physical and verbal attack" by Jeremy Clarkson that resulted in the producer going to A&E

UPDATE: North Yorkshire Police have said they are liaising with the BBC regarding the alleged incident involving Clarkson.


“We have asked the BBC for the report which details the findings of their internal investigation into the matter,” a police statement read. “The information will be assessed appropriately and action will be taken by North Yorkshire Police where necessary.”

The BBC’s investigation into the Top Gear “fracas” has concluded that, on 4th March following a studio recording of the show, Jeremy Clarkson launched an “unprovoked physical and verbal attack” on producer Oisin Tymon which involved Clarkson striking Tymon, resulting in “swelling and bleeding to his lip”.

The report into the incident, by director of BBC Scotland Ken MacQuarrie, led to a decision by director-general Tony Hall not to renew Clarkson’s contract.

In the report, MacQuarrie concluded that:

  • earlier on 4 March, studio recording of Top Gear had taken place in Surrey and the presenters had travelled that same evening to the location shoot in North Yorkshire
  • the incident occurred on a patio area of the Simonstone Hall Hotel, where Oisin Tymon was working on location for Top Gear
  • the physical attack lasted around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness
  • it is the case that Oisin Tymon offered no retaliation
  • the verbal abuse was directed at Oisin Tymon on more than one occasion – both during the attack and subsequently inside the hotel – and contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack him. The abuse was at such volume as to be heard in the dining room, and the shouting was audible in a hotel bedroom
  • derogatory and abusive language, relating to Oisin Tymon and other members of the Top Gear team, continued to be used by Jeremy Clarkson inside the hotel, in the presence of others, for a sustained period of time
  • it is clear that Oisin Tymon was shocked and distressed by the incident, and believed that he had lost his job
  • following the attack, I understand that Oisin Tymon drove to a nearby A&E department for examination

The report explains that Clarkson attempted to apologise to Tymon over subsequent days, both by text, email and in person, and also reported the incident to BBC management.

“It was not disputed by Jeremy Clarkson or any witness that Oisin Tymon was the victim of an unprovoked physical and verbal attack,” the report concluded. “It is also clear to me that Oisin Tymon is an important creative member of the Top Gear team who is well-valued and respected. He has suffered significant personal distress as a result of this incident, through no fault of his own.”

The story so far

Jeremy Clarkson dropped by the BBC – official statement in full

James May on Jeremy Clarkson: “We are a package”

Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon: “Clarkson is a unique talent”


Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear – a timeline