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The Television News Thread


#1

[BBC suspends Top Gear’s Clarkson][1]
[1]: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/bbc-suspends-top-gears-clarkson/ar-AA9BxcP#page=1

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended by the BBC after what it called a “fracas” with a producer.

Sources said he was accused of hitting the producer in an incident last week, and the remaining three episodes of the current series might not be broadcast.

The BBC confirmed one episode - due for broadcast on Sunday - would not be shown, but gave few further details.

Clarkson, 54, has not commented, but has been joking on social media about films that could replace Sunday’s show.

He was given what he called his “final warning” last May after claims he used a racist word during filming.

At the time, he said the BBC had told him he would be sacked if he made “one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time”.

In a statement earlier, the BBC said: "Following a fracas with a BBC producer, Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended pending an investigation.

"No one else has been suspended.

"Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday.

“The BBC will be making no further comment at this time.”

BBC News special correspondent Lucy Manning said sources had confirmed reports Clarkson was suspended for “allegedly hitting a producer”.

“The incident is believed to have happened last week, but was reported to the BBC on Monday and dealt with on Tuesday,” she added.

“The next two episodes of Top Gear will not be broadcast and it’s understood that a third programme, the final of the series, is unlikely to be transmitted.”
‘Sorry Ed’

Clarkson’s representatives have yet to reply to requests for a comment.

In an exchange on Twitter, Clarkson and co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May have been suggesting films that could be aired in place of the Sunday’s Top Gear episode.

Later - in an apparent reference to Ed Miliband - Clarkson tweeted: “Sorry Ed. It seems I knocked your ‘I’m a human’ piece down the news agenda.”

Justine Miliband, the Labour leader’s wife, has given an interview to the BBC saying she expects personal attacks on her husband to be “really vicious” as May’s election approaches.

This weekend’s episode of Top Gear was set to feature Clarkson - who has fronted the show since 2002 - and his fellow presenters at a classic track day.

Former footballer and pundit Gary Lineker was also to appear as the “star in a reasonably priced car”.

Lineker has tweeted: “I don’t think I’m ever meant to appear on Top Gear!”
‘Strong character’

Former Top Gear presenter Chris Goffey told BBC Radio 5 live that, while discussions on the programme sometimes became heated when he worked on the show, it “must have been something fairly serious behind the scenes to warrant his immediate suspension”.

“I can’t think what the hell’s gone on, but there you go. When you’ve got a very strong character who likes things his own way, if somebody stands up to him, there’s going to be a row.”

Clarkson has courted controversy on several occasions during his time hosting Top Gear.

The show’s executive producer, Andy Wilman, described last year as an “annus horribilis” for the programme.

It followed an incident in Argentina where the presenters and crew were forced to flee the country after trouble erupted over a number plate reading H982 FLK - which some suggested referred to the Falklands conflict of 1982.

Last year the show was also censured by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules after Clarkson used a derogatory word for Asian people during its Burma special programme.
Other Top Gear controversies

May 2014 - The programme drew complaints when video footage leaked to the Daily Mirror appeared to show Jeremy Clarkson using a racist term while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe. The presenter later apologised for the incident, which was never broadcast

October 2012 - The BBC Trust ruled comments by Clarkson which likened the design of a camper van to people with facial disfigurements breached disability guidelines.

January 2012 - Indian diplomats complained about a 90-minute India special in which a car fitted with a toilet in its boot is described by Clarkson as “perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots”.

February 2011 - The BBC apologised to Mexico after Clarkson and his co-hosts characterised Mexicans as “lazy” and “feckless”.


#2

He’s always seemed like a total arse to me, but he’s been let off with so much in the past that you can’t blame him for constantly pushing people buttons.


#3

There’s already a petition coming to bring him back: Furious ‘Top Gear’ Fans Sign Petition Demanding Jeremy Clarkson Return


#4

Showtime Will Soon Launch A Direct-To-Consumer Streaming Service

Nielsen Finds Viewing Online & On Smartphones Up Double Digits From 2013


#5

‘Top Gear’ Temporary Plans Set As Jeremy Clarkson Fate Mulled

BBC America this morning said it will premiere the two-part special, Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip Italy, starting this Monday, March 16 – replacing previously scheduled episodes of Season 22. Meanwhile, nearly 1 million furious fans have signed a petition to reinstate suspended show host Jeremy Clarkson.

The network said Tuesday, as had BBC, it would not air the upcoming episode of this season, after BBC suspended Clarkson following “a fracas” with a show producer. “No one else has been suspended,” BBC said in the statement announcing the scheduled episode would not be broadcast in the UK this Sunday. BBC America at that time referred press inquires to BBC’s statement, and said only that the next episode of Top Gear — which it airs in the U.S. on Mondays — would be replaced by a previously aired episode.

The Italy two-parter that BBC America announced this morning will be making its U.S. debut. In the episodes, “With any car (or boat or bike) they choose for all or parts of the journey, their mission is simple – to have the most fun possible on and off the road, as well as on the track,” BBCA said. Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip Italy premieres Monday, March 16, at 9 PM ET and Monday, March 23, at same time.

But it’s the difference between how BBC defines “fun” and how Clarkson defines it, that is the root of the problem the show and host now face. Clarkson and show have found themselves in the BBC equivalent of the principal’s office for most of the past year or so; at one point BBC said it would sack Clarkson if he made “one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time.” Which is, of course, an absurd threat to make to a host you have hired in large measure because of his talent for blurting outrageous things at the most inopportune times. And then there’s his fans. Really, it’s like throwing raw meat to piranha; one petition signer suggested BBC instead resolve the situation by buying helmets for the producers.


#6

#7

That looks like it could be a lot of fun.


#8

I’d like to see Top Gear come back as a cable programme, led by the Terrible Trio. with a focus on doing everything they were not allowed to do on the Beeb. Full-on Clarkson. Say what they want to say despite sponsors.

Either that, or hire three completely faceless and personality-free generic presenters and … oh, wait. That’s already the American version of Top Gear - which is awful.


#9

The BBC doesn’t have any sponsors or advertising (in fact it is illegal for them to have any sponsors), which is a large part of why they can be quite rude about the cars now.


#10

#11

The Sherlock Special will be set in Victorian London: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/03/16/sherlock-special-victorian-

“The special is its own thing,” Moffat told EW before attending a panel at the South by Southwest conference on Monday. “We wouldn’t have done the story we’re doing, and the way we’re doing it, if we didn’t have this special. It’s not part of the run of three episodes. So we had this to do it – as we could hardly conceal – it’s Victorian. [Co-creator Mark Gatiss] and me, we wanted to do this, but it had to be a special, it had to be separate entity on its own. It’s kind of in its own little bubble.”


#12

I will look forward to that, but if it turns out to be better than modern day ‘Sherlock’ they’re going to face a lot of pressure to make more Victorian ones.


#13

I am unsure as to whether that looks just horrible, or whether it’s a charming throwback to a Sledge Hammer! kind of show.

Oh man, I sure miss Sledge Hammer!.


#14

It looks completely awesome. Vehicles are great (which is the important part), sets look beautiful, action looks dynamic, the voice-over is suitable bombastic, and the music is evocative of the old Barry Gray score. So far it’s a tick in every box. Still waiting to see a proper explosion (the CGI one at the end of the trailer is rubbish and hopefully not indicative).

I’ve even revised my opinion of the character designs. I thought they were terrible in stills, but seeing them move they look a lot better. Still not what I would prefer, but I think they will work.

I am counting down the days until this starts.

Actually I’m not sure when it starts but I’m counting down to an arbitrary day when I think it should start :smile:


#15

#16

BBC postpones Top Gear Live show due to uncertainty over fate of Clarkson


#17

I know there are hoops you have to go through legally but just sack him and be done with it. His contract actually ends in September and you can’t sign a new long term one with someone on the final of final warnings, he won’t sign anyway as he’ll get an offer of mega bucks from ITV, which like every show that moves to ITV from the BBC will be shit and nobody likes. He’s also already on record slagging them all off publicly which will prompt another disciplinary process.

Clarkson and Top Gear as a team is done. They both need to plan what what they do next.


#18

I’m astonished it’s taking them this long to do anything about it. At a time when the BBC is under attack by the government, as well as every other media outlet who’d like to see it destroyed, why on earth have they let this drag on for more than two weeks, allowing it to dominate the headlines for day after day?

You’d have thought they’d want it to disappear as quickly as possible rather than hand so much ammunition to their detractors, but no… the f***ing idiots can’t even make a simple decision without apparently having 10,000 meetings about it.

I’m a huge supporter of the Beeb, but Jesus Christ do they need a kick up the arse.


#19

Unless, and it’s a distinct possibility, that it’s better financially to let this thing hang on until his contract naturally expires. It’s pretty common in private industry to let a highly paid employee find some way to resign or fade away rather than face the potential problems of being sacked from both sides.


#20

There’s no way they could let this drag on until September. He certainly isn’t going to fade away while the full glare of the media spotlight is on him. The cost in bad publicity for the next 6 months will surely far outweigh the cost of sacking someone who’s already committed any number of sackable offences.