In the same week that the BBC described losing the Top Gear trio headed by Jeremy Clarkson as a disaster, the UK public broadcaster has unveiled a list of bizarre things it says it will sue for if they’re replicated in the group’s new show to be called The Grand Tour and set to air on Amazon Prime.
Clarkson was famously sacked in May last year for punching a producer. His side cohorts James May and Richard Hammond promptly followed him out the door, too. The BBC has attempted to revive the show with new host Chris Evans, however, it’s been largely panned by fans.
Now, the former director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, has admitted losing Clarkson was a mistake and talent the broadcaster could ill-afford to see go.
In an interview with the UK’s Sunday Times Magazine Thompson said that Clarkson, was indeed, a “deeply objectionable character” but he spoke to an audience that typically would never watch the BBC.
“Clarkson can be a deeply objectionable individual, and I say that as a friend,” he told the magazine. “I don’t think people should punch their colleagues. It’s hard to keep them if they do.
“But I would say his pungent, transgressive, slightly out-of-control talent was something the BBC could ill afford to lose. He spoke to people who didn’t find much else in the BBC.”
That said, British media are now reporting that if Clarkson’s new show The Grand Tour anyway resembles Top Gear it’s also set to launch the lawyers for breach of copyright.
According to media reports, the show cannot feature the character The Stig, it can’t have a test track or even call its news section “news”.