BBC say Clarkson's contract will not be renewed

BBC say Clarkson's contract will not be renewed

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson's contract will not be renewed, the BBC has announced.

Director-general Tony Hall said the decision had been taken with "great regret".

He said: " It is not a decision I have taken lightly."

Clarkson has been suspended from the hit motoring show since he was involved in what the BBC called a "fracas" with producer Oisin Tymon.

Mr Hall said he had met and spoken to both men and was publishing the findings of the BBC's internal investigation, though he added that he took "no pleasure" in doing so.

He said: " The BBC is a broad church. Our strength in many ways lies in that diversity. We need distinctive and different voices but they cannot come at any price. Common to all at the BBC have to be standards of decency and respect.

"I cannot condone what has happened on this occasion. A member of staff - who is a completely innocent party - took himself to Accident and Emergency after a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature.

"For me a line has been crossed. There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations."

The BBC investigation found that Mr Tymon was " subject to an unprovoked physical and verbal attack by Jeremy Clarkson".

It said the attack lasted around 30 seconds and only stopped when a witness intervened.

The report said " 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."

Mr Hall said "no blame" was attached to Mr Tymon, who, he said, " behaved with huge integrity throughout".

He added that the BBC would look to "renew" the show for next year.