Belfast Telegraph

Clarkson’s Top Gear return claims

Jeremy Clarkson says he couldn’t return to Top Gear because “too much had gone on”.

The presenter parted ways with the iconic motoring show following his altercation with producer Oisin Tymon. Chris Evans was unveiled as his replacement this week, but Jeremy insists he was being considered for a role recently.

“I had a meeting with a BBC executive last week and they asked if I’d come back to Top Gear,” he told British newspaper The Sun. “The spotlight would have been on me and the show would end up being neutered. It would be difficult to do anything without interference. It would have been impossible to make the show I’d want to make.

“I think they knew this so that’s why they gave the job to Chris so soon after I met them…

“Too much has gone on. After I had been compared to Jimmy Savile by someone from the BBC and it was splashed all over a Sunday newspaper, how could I go back?”

Jeremy is reported to have met with an unnamed BBC executive last Friday – around the time Chris was in talks with TV boss Mark Linsey.

The 55-year-old presenter is grateful for the support fans have shown him since news of his assault broke. His Top Gear career came to an end in March after he lost his temper and punched a producer because he couldn’t have a hot dinner after a long day’s filming.

Jeremy has no bad feelings towards his replacement Chris and wishes him the best of luck with the new series, which is rumoured to be returning next March.

“I hope Chris enjoys running what, for the next couple of weeks, is the world’s biggest car show,” he said.

The car fanatic confirmed he will front a new rival motoring show, which is due to be announced within weeks. It is believed his fellow former Top Gear hosts James May and Richard Hammond will also be involved in the project, which could appear on TV or an internet-streaming site. However, Chris is also believed to be keen for James to make special appearances on Top Gear.

“For all those missing the old Top Gear, this will be their show,” a source claimed.

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