Over the last few weeks, everyone on the GM EFI staff was shocked to hear about the recent “fracas” with Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and producer, Oisin Tymon, while on location at the Simonstone Hall Hotel in North Yorkshire, England.
Clarkson, requesting a steak dinner after a long day of shooting on location, was told that he would have to suffice with either a cheese platter, meat (cold cut) platter or snacks from the cafeteria, since the hotel’s kitchen was closed. Frustrated after being told there wasn’t any hot food available in the hotel, Clarkson vented his frustration via a punch to Tymon’s mouth and had told Tymon that he’ll be sacked (fired).
While we were reluctant to report on it for the several days Clarkson was under investigation by the BBC, we kept our fingers crossed that there would be a way to resolve the situation without Jeremy being terminated and for the show to continue with co-presenters, Richard Hammond and James May at the helm in addition to Clarkson.
Rumors spread violently yesterday that Clarkson would be fired today, and until we had official confirmation from the BBC, we waited to report on it. Now that it’s officially official, we shared the BBC’s Investigation Summary below.
It’s a sad day for fans of the British motoring show – even if they were tough on American cars or rarely featured them – it was the cast’s entertaining chemistry and passion for cars that kept enthusiasts like your author tuning in every week. As an added bonus, we were able to get a closer look and understanding about vehicles that we Americans would rarely see on our roads, if ever.
Top Gear, as it has been known in its current format since 2002, is no more. The British press caught up with co-presenter, James May, today for additional commentary and insight. While he was mum on the details and future plans for Top Gear, he pointed out that the trio (Clarkson, May, Hammond) worked better as a package. Will May and Hammond be leaving Top Gear as well? From the sound of it, don’t too be surprised if it happens, because it’s been said that both Hammond’s and May’s contract is scheduled to be renewed as well.
Investigation findings – Ken MacQuarrie
“On 9 March 2015, Jeremy Clarkson reported to BBC management that he had been involved in a physical and verbal incident with Oisin Tymon, the producer of Top Gear, at the Simonstone Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire, whilst working on location. The incident had occurred on 4 March 2015 and Jeremy Clarkson was suspended on 10 March, pending investigation.
I was asked to undertake an investigation to establish the facts of what occurred. In conducting my investigation, in line with the BBC’s usual practice, I interviewed a number of witnesses and others connected with the incident. Accounts were agreed, based on my interviews, with each participant.Having conducted these interviews and considered the evidence presented, I conclude the following: on 4 March 2015 Oisin Tymon was subject to an unprovoked physical and verbal attack by Jeremy Clarkson. During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in swelling and bleeding to his lip. The verbal abuse was sustained over a longer period, both at the time of the physical attack and subsequently.
Specific facts I have found as part of my investigation are as follows:
- earlier on 4 March, studio recording of Top Gear had taken place in Surrey and the presenters had travelled that same evening to the location shoot in North Yorkshire;
- the incident occurred on a patio area of the Simonstone Hall Hotel, where Oisin Tymon was working on location for Top Gear;
- the physical attack lasted around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness;
- it is the case that Oisin Tymon offered no retaliation;
- the verbal abuse was directed at Oisin 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 Oisin 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 Oisin Tymon was shocked and distressed by the incident, and believed that he had lost his job;
- following the attack, I understand that Oisin Tymon drove to a nearby A&E department for examination;
- over the subsequent days, Jeremy Clarkson made a number of attempts to apologise to Oisin Tymon by way of text, email and in person; and
- it is the case that Jeremy Clarkson reported the incident to BBC management.
It was not disputed by Jeremy Clarkson or any witness that Oisin Tymon was the victim of an unprovoked physical and verbal attack. It is also clear to me that Oisin Tymon is an important creative member of the Top Gear team who is well-valued and respected. He has suffered significant personal distress as a result of this incident, through no fault of his own.”
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.