Jeremy Clarkson, the “Top Gear” presenter currently suspended pending an investigation over an altercation with a BBC producer, may return to television as early as April 24, as he is set to present the satirical BBC1 panel show “Have I Got News for You,” the The Radio Times reports.
Jimmy Mulville, head of Have I Got News for You’s production company Hat Trick, said that he is in talks with the BBC to understand whether the suspension would prevent Clarkson from taking part in the show with Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, the usual hosts.
“The BBC has not told me what to do yet and it will be an interesting conversation,” Mulville said, according to Radio Times.
Mulville also joked about the possibility of having Clarkson back on television for the first time since the incident: “Maybe we will get the producer on so he can hit Jeremy Clarkson live on television,” he said.
Clarkson is accused of punching BBC producer Oisin Tymon on the night of Wednesday, March 4. The BBC started its investigation into the incident on Monday, and the disciplinary panel is chaired by Ken McQuarrie, head of BBC Scotland.
According to sources, Clarkson became angry when he and the rest of the “Top Gear” crew went back to their hotel after a day of shooting and were served a cold platter of cheese and meat rather than a hot steak for dinner. The incident took place at about 10 p.m. and the chef had already closed the kitchen when the crew arrived at the hotel.
Mulville commented on the scandal, saying that Clarkson “is a fantastic broadcaster” and he would “concentrate on that.”
According to the Financial Times, Clarkson is the highest-paid presenter at the BBC.
Revenues from Top Gear are supposed to bring £150 million to the commercial arm of the BBC, making it one of the most successful shows at the corporation.
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