Belfast Telegraph

Top Gear live shows postponed

Four Top Gear shows that were scheduled to take place in Norway next week have been postponed.

It is understood he decision to delay the live performances was taken in part because presenter Jeremy Clarkson remains suspended after allegedly punching producer Oisin Tymon.

His future at the BBC is likely to be decided this week when the corporation's internal investigation into his conduct is handed over to the director-general.

A statement issued tonight said: "Top Gear Live regrets to inform ticket holders for next week's shows in Stavanger, Norway that we will be postponing all 4 performances, with rescheduled dates for later this year to be confirmed within the next fortnight.

"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this will cause fans and we will endeavour to contact all ticket holders directly to inform them of the change of dates.

"At present, all other Top Gear Live dates will run as scheduled."

As well as the Clarkson situation, it is understood the postponement has been announced because organisers wanted to give fans enough notice to cancel travel and accommodation plans and because work to prepare the venue would have needed to start well in advance of the shows.

The four performances were due to take place on Friday March 27 and Saturday March 28.

Earlier, Clarkson described the past week as "turbulent" and claimed he was joking when he appeared to criticise BBC bosses during an expletive-laden rant at a charity event.

The presenter said he woke up on Friday to the news his on-stage speech at the charity gala for young people at the Roundhouse in north London the previous evening had been videoed, and was told off by his lawyer.

Writing in The Sunday Times, Clarkson said it had all been in good humour.

He wrote: "But it was all meant in jest and anyway it worked.

"By being brief, controversial and a bit sweary I woke the room up and the auction prize I was offering - one last lap of the Top Gear test track - raised £100,000."

Clarkson had appeared to suggest he may be sacked from the popular show and criticised the corporation's executives.

He told those gathered at the charity event: "To be in the audience of Top Gear there was an 18-year waiting list. You know the BBC has f***** themselves, and so who gives a f***?

"It was a great show and they f***** it up."

A petition to have Clarkson re-instated on Top Gear has gathered almost one million signatures and was delivered by tank to BBC headquarters in London on Friday.

Clarkson tweeted his thanks to supporters but declared in his column in The Sun yesterday that "protest never works".

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