Thursday 27 October 2016

Sacking of 'hero' Clarkson was bizarre, says new 'Top Gear' host Evans

David Barrett

Published 03/05/2016 | 02:30

Former ‘Top Gear’ presenters James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson
Former ‘Top Gear’ presenters James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson
Chris Evans: the new host of the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’

Chris Evans, the new host of BBC motoring programme 'Top Gear', has hailed Jeremy Clarkson as a "hero" and described his predecessor's sacking as "bizarre".

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The BBC Radio Two DJ expressed surprise that Clarkson, who had previously triggered several international incidents over alleged racism, had been removed from the role for hitting an Irish producer.

"If you look at the chronology of controversy of 'Top Gear' over the last five or six years, it is bizarre that he went for losing his rag over his dinner when there had been international incidents before that," Evans said.

"What is more fascinating is that he went for what he went for, considering what had gone on before."

Clarkson was suspended and then fired by the BBC after a "fracas" in which he punched Oisin Tymon, a 'Top Gear' producer.

The incident occurred after Clarkson was told there was no hot food available after a day of filming.

During his career as 'Top Gear' host, Clarkson was accused of making several xenophobic or racist comments, including saying a car manufactured in Mexico would be lazy, and calling Romania "Borat country, with gypsies and Russian playboys." He also faced a mob in Argentina after driving a car with the number-plate H982 FKL, which many Argentinians believed was a reference to the Falklands War.

Clarkson had also suggested that Koreans at Hyundai ate spaniels, and in May last year a tape emerged of him using the n-word while reciting nursery rhyme 'Eeny Meeny Miney Mo'.

However, Clarkson escaped the sack until punching his colleague.

Evans told 'GQ' magazine Clarkson remained a "hero" of his. "We used to get on. I don't know if we still get on because I haven't seen him in ages," Evans said.

"But he is one of my heroes. He's entertaining. He was great on 'Top Gear' and I love his writing."

Irish Independent

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