The last two episodes from the final series of Top Gear featuring Jeremy Clarkson may “never be screened” even though there is enough footage, according to sources.
The BBC shelved episodes eight and 12 from the current series after the controversial presenter was suspended and subsequently sacked after a BBC report found that he had carried out an “unprovoked physical attack” on producer Oisin Tymon.
“However, there is a very big elephant in the room, or rather not in the room - namely Jeremy Clarkson,” they added.
Despite the wealth of footage there are some segments and particularly studio links missing, which most likely had not yet been shot.
The studio links usually feature the trio discussing the films before and after watching them, but since Clarkson’s dismissal they cannot be shot with all three stars.
There is also doubt over whether May and Hammond would be willing to do these scenes without Clarkson. Both presenters have shown their support for their colleague, with Hammond tweeting that he was “gutted at such a sad end to an era”.
Meanwhile May has hinted on Twitter that his time with Top Gear is up. Following the news of Clarkson’s dismissal May said, “I think we’re very much the three of us as a package, it works for very complicated reasons that a lot of people don’t fully understand.”
The source went on to say, “There is a feeling that this would look a little odd and is difficult to overcome. Jeremy’s presence in the films, but absence in the studio, is just too difficult to cover,”
“Some connected to the show believe that the footage, sadly, will never be screened.”
The final decision will rest with BBC Two’s controller Kim Shillinglaw and the BBC’s director of programmes Danny Cohen. But the source said that “it could go either way.”
The BBC declined to comment.
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