James May, formerly of BBC’s Top Gear, has opened up about the altercation that resulted in his departure from the show in 2015. May, who left the show alongside co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, revealed that he was annoyed at how the altercation between Clarkson and producer Oisin Tymon was blown out of proportion.
According to May, the situation could have been “sorted out quite easily with a bit of kissing and making up and a bit of slapping and kicking up the a**e.” However, it ended up becoming a huge story and May regrets not making more of an effort to reconcile the situation. May also expressed concern for Tymon, who he felt became a “hate figure on the internet” and was not treated fairly in the aftermath of the incident.
Clarkson issued an apology after the altercation, which left Tymon with a bloody lip, and the BBC later announced that the producer was a “valued member” of the company who behaved with “huge integrity” and would continue to work for the BBC as a development executive. Despite the resolution of the situation, May, Clarkson, and Hammond ultimately left the show.
May stated that he has no resentment towards Clarkson but wishes that the altercation had not been blown out of proportion. The former Top Gear host explained that he feels more annoyed over the fact that the altercation was blown out of proportion and that it wasn’t “that big a deal.” He said, “It wasn’t fair on Oisin, the other guy. He became a bit of a hate figure on the internet, which I thought was very poor.”
“But it could have been sorted out quite easily with a bit of kissing and making up and a bit of slapping and kicking up the a**e.
“But, of course, it turned into a huge story.”
Looking back on the incident, May wishes that he had made more of an effort to reconcile the situation. He said:
“Sometimes I wish I had made more of an effort to make the reconciliation happen.”