Sunday 23 October 2016

Top Gear script editor hits out at Jeremy Clarkson over 'smack in the chops'

Published 03/11/2015 | 16:21

Jeremy Clarkson was accused of showing
Jeremy Clarkson was accused of showing "a lack of respect" to the Top Gear team

Jeremy Clarkson's fracas with a producer showed "a lack of respect" for the team behind the show, a Top Gear editor has said.

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Richard Porter, a script editor on the programme for 13 years, has written about the punch that ended Clarkson's time on the BBC hit show in a behind-the-scenes book.

Clarkson was suspended by the broadcaster on March 10 after punching producer Oisin Tymon during a row over a steak dinner, before the corporation announced his contract would not be renewed.

In the book called And On That Bombshell: Inside The Madness And Genius Of Top Gear, Mr Porter wrote: "Jeremy had let us down."

He went on: "We'd happily work long and late, trying to find a unicorn, a Talbot Samba and a cat that looked like Kylie Minogue if that's what Jeremy wanted.

"But when the reward for the team's hard work was a smack in the chops, that suggested a lack of respect for the people who worked so tirelessly to make his vision a reality."

Mr Porter wrote about when Clarkson came to the Top Gear office to apologise to the team.

He wrote: "He didn't sit down or even take his jacket off. He just told us he'd made a confession to management and that he was sorry to all of us. With that he left the office for what would be the very last time.

"I was furious. Properly, knee-jigglingly, teeth-grindingly furious. His apology seemed half-hearted and feeble, like a child saying the word sorry because they know it's what the adults want to hear, rather than a sincere reflection of remorse."

Mr Porter said that in the weeks after the furore he felt "as if someone had died".

On the book's page on Amazon, it says: "I was Top Gear's script editor for 13 years and all 22 series. I basically used to check spelling and think of stupid gags about The Stig.

"I also got to hang around with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. It didn't feel like something you should get paid for. From the disastrous pilot show of 2002 to the sudden and unexpected ending in 2015, working on Top Gear was quite a rollercoaster ride."

Clarkson, along with co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May went on to sign a ''very, very, very expensive'' deal to make a car-themed programme with the online streaming service Amazon Prime.

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