Ex-Top Gear script writer brands Clarkson’s apology as “half-hearted”


A former Top Gear script writer has lashed out at ousted presenter Jeremy Clarkson, describing his apology to crew members after punching the show’s associate producer, as “half-hearted” and the deed as “stupid”.

Writing in a tell-all book titled, “And on that bombshell: Inside the madness and genius of Top Gear”, Richard Porter, who worked as head script writer since the show’s re-launch in 2002, said Clarkson’s punching of Oisin Tymon at a Yorkshire Hotel in March over a lack of hot food, was unnecessary.

“We'd happily work long and late, trying to find a unicorn, a Talbot Samba and a cat that looked like Kylie Minogue if that's what Jeremy wanted,” an extract from the book, named after the line Clarkson would often use at the end of show, was quoted by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper.

“But when the reward for the team's hard work was a smack in the chop,s that suggested a lack of respect for the people who worked so tirelessly to make his vision a reality”.

Porter also stated that Clarkson, whose contract was not renewed by the BBC after the incident, never offered a proper apology to the crew, and that he mainly said he was sorry before leaving the show’s office.

“I was furious. Properly, knee-jinglingly, teeth-grindingly furious. His apology seemed half-hearted and feeble, like a child saying the word sorry because they know it's what the adults want to hear, rather than a sincere reflection of remorse,” Porter said.

He however went on to describe Clarkson as the show’s “engine room at the heart of ideas” and as a person who seldom slept, adding that the show’s abrupt end did not come as a surprise.

“Over the years all of us on the show had bickered and bitched and behaved as a close-knit group of people does, but we'd never started lamping each other,” he said.

“The truly sad thing is it was never meant to end this way. But actually, in this silly, feckless, childish, calamitous stupid world we created, it's really no surprise that it did”.

Clarkson and his former Top Gear co-presenters, Richard Hammond and James May, have meanwhile started filming their new yet-as-named show that will be broadcasted on online streaming service, Amazon, from next year. The show, which will be over three years and a total of 36 episodes, was alleged to have cost Amazon £160-million (R3.4-billion) despite no actual amount being revealed by bosses.