Jeremy Clarkson to host Have I Got News For You as BBC confirms he is only banned from Top Gear

The TV presenter was sacked from the motoring show after assaulting a producer

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The Independent Culture

Jeremy Clarkson has been confirmed to guest host BBC quiz show Have I Got News for You later this month, despite the broadcaster not renewing his Top Gear contract.

The controversial TV presenter was recently sacked from the motoring series after a “fracas” over hot dinner sent producer Oisin Tymon to A&E with a split lip in early March.

More than a million people signed an online petition to see Clarkson return to Top Gear, but BBC Director General Tony Hall came to the decision that “a line has been crossed” and “there cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another”.

Jeremy Clarkson assaulted Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon

However, a BBC spokesperson has said that while Clarkson will no longer present Top Gear, he “isn't banned from appearing on the BBC”, meaning he is free to record Have I Got News For You.

The episode will air on 24 April and it will be the first time Clarkson is seen on TV since 8 March, when the last Top Gear was broadcast. There will undoubtedly be many jokes made at his expense.

The 54-year-old has featured on the popular show a dozen times since Angus Deayton left in 2002. He famously threw a pen at team captain Ian Hislop during a 2008 episode, leaving him with a cut on his face.

“We had to stop recording,” said Hislop. “He refused to believe it was blood. He said it was red biro and then apologised to me afterwards.”

Jimmy Mulville from production company Hat Trick, which makes Have I Got News For You, told the Broadcasting Press Guild last month that he thought Clarkson was “a fantastic broadcaster”, adding that they should “get the producer on so he can hit Jeremy Clarkson live on television”.

Clarkson's wider future remains unclear, although North Yorkshire Police announced yesterday that he will not face police action over his attack on Tymon, which happened at a hotel in the area.

It emerged last week that he will still appear on stage with former Top Gear colleagues Richard Hammond and James May to fulfil a series of live hows planned before he left the BBC. The events will be stripped of all BBC branding and content and billed as Clarkson, Hammond and May Live.

That means the shows, which will take in venues in Australia, Norway, South Africa and the UK, will not be able to use clips from Top Gear or feature The Stig.


The move has sparked rumours that the three men intend to team up to continue their careers together after Clarkson's exit from the corporation, but sources close to the tour say it is simply a matter of not wanting to disappoint fans.

The future of the show's other two presenters, Hammond and May, is also in doubt, with both men's Top Gear contracts having run out.

Police are still investigating threats to kill Hall, reportedly linked to his decision to axe Clarkson. The former chief executive of the Royal Opera House took over the £450,000 BBC post in April 2013 to replace George Entwistle, who left the corporation in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.

Additional reporting from the Press Association