Jeremy Clarkson, the “Top Gear” presenter who has been suspended by the BBC after allegedly punching a producer last week, confessed to the incident because his own team was turning on him, the Daily Mirror reports.
Clarkson waited five full days before picking up the phone to tell BBC television chief Danny Cohen that he “forcibly manhandled” producer Oisin Tymon, the website said.
One insider who spoke with the Mirror said that Clarkson “realised he had f—ed up and that it was going to get out at some point,” and that he admitted to the dustup out of self-interest.
The alleged assault took place at the Simonstone Hall Hotel in the Yorkshire Dales on Wednesday, March, 4. Clarkson and his team were served a platter of cold food after they came back to the hotel at 10 p.m., when the chef had already been sent home. Disappointed with the food, Clarkson took is rage out on Tymon, who had failed to arrange a hot meal for the crew.
The presenter reportedly threatened to have Tymon fired after he saw what was arranged for dinner, a family who was staying at the same hotel told Sky News.
The family claims Clarkson ranted at Tymon for about half an hour.”It was just the swearing and the length of time and this poor guy that he was ripping into,” Denise Ward told Sky News.
According to the Daily Mail, Clarkson had been drinking rose wine at a pub with the rest of the crew before heading back to the hotel. James May, another presenter at “Top Gear,” told Channel 5 News he could not remember what happened clearly because he was “blind drunk.”
The BBC has set up a disciplinary panel to investigate the issue. The panel, chaired by the chief of BBC Scotland Ken McQuarrie, should be meeting over the weekend at a hotel in London.
Clarkson is “intensely relaxed” about the suspension issue, a friend told The Daily Mail. During a football match at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, Clarkson was asked if he feared of being sacked and reportedly answered: “Well, it is coming, isn’t it?”
The BBC is facing huge pressure over whether to sack Clarkson. “Top Gear” is one of the most successful shows at the corporation and is watched, on average, by 350 million people worldwide every week. According to CityAM, the British audience is about 5 million viewers per week.
The Financial Times wrote that Clarkson is the BBC’s highest-paid presenter. The shows pulls in an annual revenue of £150 million, according to The Telegraph.
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