Jeremy Clarkson's final Top Gear scenes to air later this year

BBC2 boss reveals she hasn't ruled out a woman replacement

Matilda Battersby
Wednesday 22 April 2015 10:53
Jeremy Clarkson was sacked by the BBC last month
Jeremy Clarkson was sacked by the BBC last month

If you thought Jeremy Clarkon’s final Top Gear appearance had ended up on the scrap heap after his BBC career crashed and burned then think again.

His final scenes in the popular car series could be screened as early as this summer according to BBC2 boss Kim Shillinglaw.

“No way would I want the available material not to be seen by viewers,” she said.

Clarkson, who was suspended and then sacked by the BBC last month following his attack on Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, filmed the scenes prior to the “fracas”.

The current series of Top Gear ended before the last three scheduled episodes went out.

The car show, which is viewed in 170 territories and generates an estimated £50 million a year for the BBC, will continue without Clarkson.

Shillinglaw, who also revealed she would strongly consider female contenders for the Top Gear job, said she was not thinking of his replacement "in terms of gender".

Sue Perkins and Jodie Kidd are among the biggest female names to have been put forward as contenders to replace Clarkson.

"I worked a lot with female presenters and when I used to work in science that was something across the piste that I really wanted to tackle,” Shillinglaw said. “But I don't think I've ever approached an individual show thinking that was the way I want to cast it so I think it's an open book on that.

"We'll definitely look at some women, but it's not a driving priority."

Clarkson became the subject of an internal investigation after he attacked producer Tymon during a row over a lack of availability of hot food after a day of filming in Yorkshire.

Following the investigation Clarkson's contract was not renewed, with director-general Tony Hall saying "a line has been crossed" and "there cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another".

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Following his suspension more than a million people signed a petition calling for Clarkson to be reinstated.

He received widespread public support, including from friend Prime Minister David Cameron, and his co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May said they wouldn’t continue working on Top Gear without him.

Clarkson has said he is already thinking about his next television project.

He wrote in his column for the Sunday Times: "I have lost my baby but I shall create another.

"I don't know who the other parent will be or what the baby will look like, but I cannot sit around anymore organising my photograph album."

Clarkson also revealed he was told he "probably" had cancer, two days before the day of the “fracas” which he described as the most stressful day he had had in his 27 years at the BBC.

“It was beyond belief stressful, everything was going wrong, and then you know… there you go. But everybody has stressful days, and they manage to cope better than I did.”

After the BBC decided not to renew Clarkson’s contract, he said he “felt sick” because after having lost both his home and his mother, he had thrown himself “even more vigorously into my job, and now, idiotically, I’d managed to lose that too”.

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