According to a report from The Telegraph, Clarkson was belligerent in Yorkshire, England, on a night during the show’s filming. He reportedly berated Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, punched him and used a derogatory anti-Irish remark.
Here’s the details:
A guest at the hotel where the BBC team were staying said Clarkson was furious to find that there was no hot meal available when he and his co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond returned from a drinking session at a nearby pub.
Another source said that Clarkson called Tymon, 36, a “lazy Irish c***” before splitting his lip with a punch that left him with blood running down his face. Tymon is understood to have received treatment at the A&E department at Friarage Hospital, in Northallerton, and is said to have also suffered dizziness.
Clarkson, 54, has been a fixture of Top Gear since he first appeared in 1988. Since then, along with co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May, the show has become arguably the world’s most popular and influential automotive program. But the brouhaha in Yorkshire is hardly the first incident for Clarkson and Top Gear.
In 2006, he faced heat after making homophobic comments on the show. The BBC harshly condemned Clarkson in a statement, saying his words were “capable of giving offence.”
Two years later, a harsh review of the battery life from a Tesla Roadster received stern feedback from the manufacturer itself, who claimed Clarkson was feeding the audience inaccuracies on the functionality of its car. Again, The BBC needed to do some backpedaling and smoothing over.
Add in a lengthy string of remarks ranging from a feud with Piers Morgan, ignorant and misguided jokes about Mexicans, and Clarkson –along with Hammond and May– haven’t consistently been on the best behavior, which can’t be seen too favorably by The BBC.
Where does Clarkson and the show go from here? It’s hard to say, as there is not a timetable on The BBC’s internal investigation. While previous incidents have surrounded insensitive remarks and ethical criticism, the alleged scuffle with Tymon is far and way the most damning to the image of the show.
It’s not a good look for the iconic television presenter, and it could wind up shaping the future direction of the show. Top Gear is currently in its 22nd season since being rebooted in October 2002.