Former Mirror editor Piers Morgan has penned an open letter to his once-arch-enemy Jeremy Clarkson.
The BBC today announced that the Top Gear presenter’s contract will not be renewed, after an investigation by the broadcaster found he had launched an “unprovoked physical and verbal attack” that left Oisin Tymon, one of the show's producers, in hospital.
Tony Hall, the broadcaster’s director general, said: “For me a line has been crossed. There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations.”
Things you never knew about Top Gear
Things you never knew about Top Gear
1/14 Top Gear isn't really for adults
It's 'aimed at people with a mental age of nine', according to executive producer Andy Wilman.
2/14 Planet Earth loves it...
Top Gear is screened in more than 100 countries worldwide and has millions of fans.
3/14 ...but not all motoring hacks do
You might think Jezza was a hero of the motoring hack world but that's not strictly accurate. Telegraph journalist Neil Lyndon summed Top Gear's 21st birthday last year up well: 'Does that mean Billy Bunter and his gang finally get forced out of the Fourth Remove and into long trousers?'
4/14 The Top Gear theme tune is a classic rock song
Seven-minute instrumental 'Jessica' by The Allman Brothers was a hit in 1973. Top Gear has recorded its own version now but used part of the original recording at first. One for the road trip playlist.
5/14 Jeremy Clarkson couldn't get much more controversial if he tried
The presenter is currently suspended from the BBC following a 'fracas' with a producer over a steak dinner. Past scandals include a string of racism allegations.
6/14 This Porsche caused all sorts of trouble in Argentina
The Top Gear team were forced to flee Argentina after locals took offence at the car's number plate - believing it was a deliberately provocative reference to the Falklands War of 1982.
7/14 If it's car-buying advice you want, look elsewhere
It's an in-joke in Top Gear that they don't do car tests. You would be mad to make a purchases based on Jezza's verdict.
8/14 Richard Hammond had a near-death experience filming Top Gear
The 'Hamster' was filming a Top Gear segment in a dragster called Vampire when its front-right tyre burst at 288mph. Hammond spent two weeks in a coma but luckily went on to make a full recovery. He requested that no mention of the crash was made in future Top Gear episodes.
9/14 Jeremy Clarkson is more than a little bit taller than Richard Hammond
Nine inches, to be precise.
10/14 Top Gear used to offer real advice
Before these lads took over, it was a real car-reviewing show with presenters such as Angela Rippon, who gave practical reviews of down-to-earth workhorses such as Cavaliers or Mini Metros.
11/14 Those 'reasonably priced' cars take quite a battering
Denis Chick, of Vauxhall, is brave to have lent the show a fleet of his Astras. He said: "Vauxhall Astra sales would not improve if everyone drove like Jimmy Carr around the Dunsfold track." The comedian hilariously took his test car's front off-side tyre clean off its rim.
12/14 Jeremy Clarkson is a YouTube star
Stray down the motoring internet hole and you'll find lovingly posted videos of 'Clarkson the early years' with incredibly loud hair reviewing 1990s cars in an oddly sensible manner. Very disturbing viewing.
13/14 There have been multiple Stigs
Racing driver Perry McCarthy was stuntsman The Stig on the first two series of Top Gear - here's the man under that famous helmet.
14/14 Ben Collins was The Stig for eight years
Ben Collins was The Stig on Top Gear for eight years. He left amid a clash with the BBC when he unmasked his identity and published an autobiography. Collins thinks Top Gear has 'lost some of its sparkle'.
Clarkson and Morgan fell out a decade ago after the latter published photos of the ex-Top Gear presenter and with a woman who wasn’t his wife.
In the letter published by MailOnline, Morgan acknowledges their feud, which he says has since been cleared up, writing: “I'm sorry to hear you've been sacked. No, really, strangely, I actually am.”
But Morgan says the presenter “didn’t give the BBC much choice” after he attacked Tymon.
In a surprisingly heartfelt manner, Morgan claims he thought Clarkson was “fragile” when they ended their feud at a pub last year, after the car expert endured personal issues and was “reeling from the N-word scandal.”
Last year, the presenter received a warning after he used a racial slur in un-aired footage.
Morgan quips that Clarkson should have instead hit him again, as he did at the British Press Awards in 2004, and said that Tymon didn’t deserve to be assaulted, or threatened by Top Gear fans on social media.
“I don't defend what you did, nobody can defend what you did.”
He concludes the letter with some friendly advice, by telling the presenter to “fly somewhere remote and hot”; reject job offers for the time being; issue a public statement; and “do normal things.”
The future of Top Gear remains unclear, as James May and Richard Hammond wait to see if their contracts are renewed by the end of the month.
In a statement released by his agent, May said his role at Top Gear “requires much thought, deliberation and conversation” before he makes a decision about his future.
And Hammond today said on Twitter that he was “gutted at such a sad end to an era” after Jeremy Clarkson's sacking. He added: "We're all three of us idiots in our different ways but it's been an incredible ride together."Reuse content