Sunday 25 February 2018

Jeremy Clarkson returns for live shows ... but it's not Top Gear

Top Gear
Top Gear

Robert Dex

Jeremy Clarkson will appear on stage with his former Top Gear colleagues later this year to fulfil a series of gigs planned before the BBC sacked him for an attack on one of the show's producers.

The gigs will be stripped of all BBC branding and content and billed as Clarkson, Hammond and May Live.

That means the shows, which will take in venues as far afield as Australia, Norway, South Africa and the UK, will not be able to use clips from the show or feature The Stig.

A BBC Worldwide spokesman said: "So as not to disappoint the thousands of people around the world who have already purchased tickets, BBC Worldwide has agreed with our joint venture partner Brand Events that the remainder of the tour can continue. These events will not however feature any BBC Top Gear branding or content."

Some of the dates have already had to be rescheduled and tour organisers believe it may not even make a profit after costs have been factored in.

A spokesman for Brand Events said: "This is a great solution for the fans."

The move is likely to spark rumours that the three men intend to team up to continue their careers together after Clarkson's exit.

Earlier, Top Gear producer Andy Wilman had to deny reports that he had quit. But today Mr Wilman, whose friendship with Clarkson dates back to their school days, said the email was "not a resignation statement, and nor was it meant for public consumption".

The future of the show's other two presenters - Richard Hammond and James May - is unclear, with both men's contracts running out today.

Contract discussions were put on hold while the BBC suspended Clarkson over the "fracas" with producer Oisin Tymon (inset).

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