Jeremy Clarkson is returning to the BBC – but not to the show that made him world famous. The ex-Top Gear presenter will host the satirical chat show Have I Got News For You on the 24th of April, 2015.
It was previously tipped Clarkson would be a guest host on the show, which is produced by Hat Trick Productions. A BBC spokesperson confirmed the news: “Jeremy’s contract has not been renewed on Top Gear, but he isn’t banned from appearing on the BBC.”
Speaking a month ago, Hat Trick Productions managing director Jimmy Mulville commented: “We always have a field day with Jeremy. Maybe we will get the producer on so he can hit Jeremy Clarkson live on television.
“As far as I am concerned, he is hosting Have I Got News For You in early May. The BBC haven’t told me what to do yet. It’ll be an interesting conversation.”
I think he’s a fantastic broadcaster and I concentrate on that. He’s due to host the third episode,” he added.
Clarkson has been a guest host before. Private Eye editor Ian Hislop claimed the 54-year-old threw a pen at him during filming in 2008. “We had to stop recording. He refused to believe it was blood. He said it was red biro and then apologised to me afterwards,” Hislop said on Question Time.
There were reports Clarkson would face legal action for his ‘fracas‘ with BBC producer Oisin Tymon, but the police have confirmed no further action will be taken after Tymon decided against pressing charges.
The fight resulted in Jeremy Clarkson’s contract not being renewed. The BBC is yet to renew the contracts of co-stars Richard Hammond and James May.
In a Sky News Interview, May said the trio come as a ‘package’, hinting they would not return without the man who helped reinvent the show and made it a huge money-maker for the Beeb.
A petition to get Clarkson reinstated reached a million signatures, but BBC Director-General Tony Hall said “a line had been crossed” and that keeping the 54-year-old on was never an option.
The 2016 series of Top Gear has been confirmed by the BBC. Exactly who will present it, however, is anyone’s guess – as is where Clarkson will go next.
Check out the first episode of the relaunched Top Gear for a trip down memory lane.
Update: Jeremy Clarkson has pulled out of his appearance on Have I Got News For You on the 24th of April, but is said to be returning ‘later in the year’, according to Hat Trick Productions.