The next chapter? Jeremy Clarkson hints Top Gear may have a future outside of the BBC
Jeremy Clarkson has hinted that the Top Gear team may have a future outside of the BBC, as he said the programme could "be back somewhere else".
The former presenter thanked the audience for "coming to see an unemployed man" as he hosted a charity auction to raise money for Chipping Norton Lido.
In his first public appearance since his sacking, he told the crowd the upside meant he could now swear without being reprimanded.
Auctioning a Top Gear Kung Fu Stig T-shirt advertised as being 'signed by a former presenter', Clarkson said: "Now some of you know there used to be a programme called Top Gear. It was on the BBC.
"But we could be back somewhere else. Or maybe even not somewhere else, who knows?"
However, as he raised bids for the last Top Gear official T-shirt of the evening, he hinted that he may have severed ties with the programme once and for all, saying: "It may well be the last ever time I put my name on that merchandise".
As bids for a signed advance copy of Clarkson's latest book, What (More) Could Possibly Go Wrong? faltered around the £50 mark, he joked: "That's how fast a man can devalue".
Clarkson placed a bid himself for deerstalking, donated by Lord and Lady Rotherwick, and told the audience: "I'm unemployed and I'm going to pay £250".
Clarkson was eventually outbidded as the accompanied stalking outing on Cornbury Park Estate eventually sold for £350.
He continued to make light of his unemployment at the end of the auction when he thanked the audience for "coming to see an unemployed man".
He also joked about "trawling the job centre" for a hosting job when he spotted an opening for the charity auction.
Hundreds of fans paid £15 a ticket to watch Clarkson oversee the auction at Chipping Norton Town Hall.
In a typical Clarkson moment, he mistook a male bidder for a female but responded by saying: "I have worked with James May, it is easy to get confused in these situations."
Auctioning a bottle of 'finest House of Commons Champagne signed by our Patron, David Cameron', Clarkson joked: "It could be the last thing he ever does as Prime Minister, who knows?"
He added: "Or he could be the next Prime Minister."