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Clarkson now facing police assault charge after being sacked by BBC

'Top Gear's' Jeremy Clarkson faces a charge by North Yorkshire police after aiming a punch at the programme's producer during a row.

The presenter was sacked by the BBC yesterday for his "unprovoked physical and verbal attack" on the show's Irish producer Oisín Tymon.

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Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May

Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May

Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon

Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon

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Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May

The police have now confirmed they are looking into the matter. A spokesman said: "North Yorkshire Police is liaising with the BBC regarding the alleged incident in North Yorkshire involving Jeremy Clarkson," sources said.

BBC chief Tony Hall said that Clarkson had failed to maintain "standards of decency and respect" at work.

Commenting on the decision on Twitter, Clarkson merely said: "I used to be a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show, 'Top Gear'."

He was found guilty of "a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature" that left his victim, Mr Tymon, in need of hospital treatment at an A&E department. Announcing the news, previously reported in the Irish Independent, Mr Hall said: "It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract. It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I know how popular the programme is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion."

Mr Hall said continuing 'Top Gear' in 2016 "will be a big challenge and there is no point in pretending otherwise".

The investigation, conducted by BBC executive Ken McQuarrie, found that Clarkson hit Tymon in an unprovoked attack at the Simonstone Hall Hotel in North Yorkshire.

A report into the incident stated: "The verbal abuse was directed at Oisín Tymon on more than one occasion - both during the attack and subsequently inside the hotel - and contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack him. The abuse was at such volume as to be heard in the dining room, and the shouting was audible in a hotel bedroom.

"Derogatory and abusive language, relating to Oisín Tymon and other members of the 'Top Gear' team, continued to be used by Jeremy Clarkson inside the hotel, in the presence of others, for a sustained period of time. It is clear that Oisín Tymon was shocked and distressed by the incident, and believed that he had lost his job." Mr Tymon drove himself to a nearby A&E department for treatment. He has suffered "significant personal distress as a result of this incident, through no fault of his own".

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Mr Hall said he was "a great fan" of Clarkson's work on 'Top Gear', but "a line has been crossed.

"There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank or public relations or commercial considerations".

In a statement released after Clarkson's sacking, Mr Tymon said: "I respect Lord Hall's detailed findings and I am grateful to the BBC for their thorough and swift investigation into this very regrettable incident, against a background of intense media interest and speculation.

"I've worked on 'Top Gear' for almost a decade, a programme I love. Over that time Jeremy and I had a positive and successful working relationship, making some landmark projects together.

"He is a unique talent and I am well aware that many will be sorry his involvement in the show should end in this way."

Tymon's lawyer, Paul Daniels, said: "This last month has been a nightmare for Oisín, his friends and his family. Through absolutely no fault of his own he found himself at the centre of a massive news story, but despite that he has conducted himself with dignity, restraint and balance.

Team

"He now simply wishes to return to the job he loves at the BBC. He does not intend to make any further media comment and kindly asks that his privacy is respected.

"More generally, this is an important reminder that UK law protects all staff who face bullying, discrimination or violence at work, and all employers are required to protect their staff from such behaviour."

Reacting to the sacking of Clarkson last night, co-presenter James May said: "We were a team ... the three of us come as a package".

May said what has happened was a "tragedy" and that "as much as I think he's a knob, I quite liked working with Jeremy".

Topping the list to replace Clarkson on the show is DJ Chris Evans. However, Evans has repeatedly insisted "that will never happen." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]


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