Former Top Gear host apologises for punching producer


Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has reportedly issued an apology to the producer he punched in alleged fracas just under a year ago.

According to the BBC, the outspoken star, who was dismissed from the smash-hit motoring show in March for punching Oisin Tymon at a hotel over a disagreement about hot food, also settled a lawsuit brought against him, believed to have cost around £100 000 (R2.1-million).

“I would like to say sorry, once again, to Oisin Tymon for the incident and its regrettable aftermath,” the broadcaster quoted him as saying.

“I would also like to make it clear that the abuse he has suffered since the incident is unwarranted and I am sorry too that he has had to go through that. I am pleased that this matter is now resolved. Oisin was always a creatively exciting part of Top Gear and I wish him every success with his future projects”.

Tymon’s laywer Paul Daniels told the broadcaster afterwards that they were pleased with the settlement, and ready to move from the incident.

The 36-year old producer filed a lawsuit against Clarkson shortly after incident, which left him with a swollen lip after the presenter lashed out him at the end of a day’s filming.

“It was not disputed by Jeremy Clarkson or any witness that Oisin Tymon was the victim of an unprovoked physical and verbal attack. He has suffered significant personal distress as a result of this incident, through no fault of his own,” Scotland Yard investigate Director, Ken MacQuarrie, said in a statement at the time.

Clarkson’s co-presenters, Richard Hammond and James May, although not implicated, later also departed, with trio announcing in July it had signed a deal with online streaming service, Amazon, to host a yet-as-unnamed morning show, with an estimated budget of £160-million (R3.4-billion). Filming has since started.

BBC Radio 2 breakfast host and known petrolhead, Chris Evans, was later announced as Clarkson’s replacement, to wide-spread criticism from fans.

Earlier this month, the broadcaster confirmed that former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc, who like Evans appeared on the show previously as “The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car”, would serve as co-presenter, with the rest of the extended line-up consisting of former Formula 1 team boss and BBC F1 pundit Eddie Jordan, online motoring journalists Chris Harris and Rory Reid, as well as German racing driver and frequent show guest, Sabine Schmitz.

The re-launched show, which is expected to air in May, was reported as having suffered a number of setbacks in recent months, with allegations of Evans struggling to drive and talk to the camera at the same time, and the departure key staff including BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw.