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Saturday 23 August 2014

What racism? Clarkson reportedly negotiating new £12m BBC deal

The Top Gear presenter is set to renew his contract with the broadcaster despite racism controversy

Antonia Molloy

Published 25/05/2014 | 16:31

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JUST weeks after he was embroiled in an N-word racism row, Jeremy Clarkson is set to sign a three-year £12million deal with the BBC, according to reports.

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The deal, which would kick in when Clarkson’s current contract runs out next April, would keep the controversial Top Gear presenter at the BBC until 2018.

A BBC source told the Sunday People: “There is no question of Jeremy’s deal not being renewed.

“It is being worked on right now. The top executives want him signed up as soon as possible.

“We are all very ¬excited that Top Gear as we know it will be with us for three more years from 2015.”

Clarkson was called a racist after he was accused of using the word “n****r” in an unaired episode of Top Gear.

In the unseen footage, which was released by The Mirror, Clarkson appears to mumble the word while reciting a derogatory nursery rhyme.

Following calls for him to be sacked, the presenter published a film in which he apologised for any offence he had caused.

In the film, he admits that it appeared that he had used the word despite doing “everything in my power” not to.

“My efforts obviously weren't quite good enough,” he said.

He later revealed he was on a final warning from the BBC.

The broadcaster said in a statement: “Jeremy Clarkson has set out the background to this regrettable episode.

“We have made it absolutely clear to him, the standards the BBC expects on air and off. We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this.”

However, Clarkson appears to be secure in his potion - the new deal would reportedly see him paid £1million a year, in addition to an annual sum of £3 million from BBC Worldwide for Top Gear merchandise that is sold internationally.

The source added: “Jeremy is loved by Top Gear viewers, not just in Britain but across the world.

“There is absolutely no way that there are any plans for the show to go on without him so the BBC got in early to make sure he stays.

“He will receive a fee to present the show as well as another wage from BBC Worldwide who own the rights to Top Gear. Everything is pressing ahead as it should be and is running very smoothly. The BBC don’t want Jeremy to go anywhere else.

“He loves Top Gear so everyone is looking forward to putting pen to paper on this one.”

Clarkson is thought to have earned £14 million for his work on Top Gear last year, including his salary and payments related to the show's global success.

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