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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC: The Point of No Return

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is accused of thumping a producer during a disagreement over food.

The 54-year-old star was suspended on Tuesday following what the BBC described as "a fracas" with producer Oisin Tymon.

There is lots of commentary about this across the web, so we don't propose to analyse the incident too closely in this article.

This is quite an unusual state of affairs. Much as I despise the BBC, I actually quite like Top Gear due to Clarkson's waspish humour and sarcasm.

Much as I appreciate Clarkson's presentation of Top Gear, the way he oozes arrogance means I despise him on a personal level. This arrogance has seen him crack several jokes about his recent suspension, seemingly playing down the gravity of the situation.

If I was in Clarkson's shoes - having just (allegedly) thumped a colleague - I would expect to be disciplined by my employer. Violence towards anyone - let alone a colleague - is totally unacceptable, save for the exceptional circumstances where it is an act of genuine self-defence.

If I was in receipt of a final warning - as Clarkson is following the "slope" and "eenie, meenie, miney, moe" incidents - then I would recognise that disciplinary action could mean the ultimate sanction of dismissal.

From where I'm standing I can't see any other option for the BBC, but to terminate Clarkson's contract and end his association with the national broadcaster.

The last time Clarkson sailed close to the wind the Director of BBC Television, Danny Cohen, made it abundantly clear that there would be no more chances.

Having issued such a firm and unequivocal warning, throwing a further lifeline to Clarkson now would blast Cohen's credibility to smithereens.

For that reason I expect Clarkson to be clearing his Top Gear dressing room by the end of this month, if not sooner.

The only disappointment will come when Clarkson oozes his arrogance across to ITV as if nothing has happened. Given time, I'm sure ITV will learn the hard way too.

Edit (14/3/15): Read the latest developments in the Clarkson story here.

5 comments:

Frank said...

Clarkson seems to hate the BBC almost as much as some do on here. The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

I don't expect he'll get the boot. Top Gear earns the BBC £150m annually, nobody throws away that sort of money. Unless of course they add it onto the license fee to compensate, then I expect those calling for him to be sacked would change their tune.

Chris said...

What a dilemma for 'Aunty'. Keep him and be seen as weak, or get rid and say bye-bye to the weekly golden eggs and have hundreds of thousands of viewers follow through on their threats to "cancel my TV license".

Either way I'm enjoying this.

Chris

Richard said...

Despising him seems a little strong to my eyes. The Clarkson you normally see is Clarkson the entertainer, and he's very good at it. But it isn't the real Clarkson. For the real Clarkson to emerge, you have to catch him by surprise, as on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0boGk4BUUw

I have a lot of time for a bloke like that.

Götter Dämmerung said...

As a legally non-licence fee payer my first reaction to this story is it's of no concern to me because I don't fund the BBC who in turn employ Jeremy Clarkson.

But from an observational point of view this is the same sort of storm in a tea cup that's been whipped up by the media as the Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand incident were they baited veteran actor Andrew Sachs live on air regarding the promiscuity of his granddaughter.
It didn't harm their careers and I doubt this will harm "Jezzas" who is out of contract at the end of the month anyway.

The BBC has created these talentless diva monsters by paying them ridiculous salaries for doing basically nothing other than being a twot in front of a camera so they deserve to be bitten on the arse by them every now and again.

Bill Cotton will will be turning in his grave.

Admin said...

Frank, I think you'll find that the BBC routinely squanders millions in public money, so financial propriety is not necessarily a consideration. Apparently a panel of BBC executives will decide Jezza's fate today. Given his contract is up for renewal at the end of the month, it is undoubtedly more convenient to terminate him now that in a month' time when he drops his next bollock.

Watch my tracer: Clarkson is finished at the BBC.