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Ex BBC chief says the Beeb should have retained ‘deeply objectionable’ Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson


By John McCarthy | Media editor

August 22, 2016 | 2 min read

Mark Thompson, former BBC director-general, has said that the BBC should have done more to keep former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson with the broadcaster.

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Clarkson is soon to debut his new Amazon Prime car show, The Grand Tour, having been expelled from the BBC following a foul-mouthed punch-up with a Top Gear producer.

Thompson told the Times that “Clarkson can be a deeply objectionable individual, and I say that as a friend,” adding that it would have been difficult but not impossible to hang onto the face of its most prominent franchise.

“I don’t think people should punch their colleagues. It’s hard to keep them if they do. But I would say his pungent, transgressive, slightly out-of-control talent was something the BBC could ill afford to lose.”

The corporation reportedly lost the host who “spoke to people who didn’t find much else in the BBC,” a trait that does not seem to have been emulated by a newly vacated Top Gear presenter role.

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