Jeremy Clarkson bust-up: No complaint made to BBC over Top Gear star
Jeremy Clarkson is said to be "intensely relaxed" about the inquiry into his "fracas" with a Top Gear producer, amid suggestions that the victim of the suspended BBC presenter's alleged punch has yet to lodge an official complaint.
Mr Clarkson is alleged to have thrown a punch at Oisin Tymon over the producer’s failure to secure a late-night steak dinner for the presenter during filming at a Yorkshire hotel.
The Sun and Mirror reported the hotel’s chef had gone home by the time they arrived and the stars were offered cold meat platters, although the presenter requested a £21.95 steak.
The papers quoted a source who claimed Clarkson blamed Mr Tymon for not arranging hot food and described the incident as a “scuffle”.
However, friends of Mr Clarkson say there is “no bad blood” between the pair and no official complaint has been made after the presenter offered his apologies.
The BBC inquiry may fail to produce sufficient evidence to demonstrate sackable misconduct on Mr Clarkson’s part, if Mr Tymon’s account spares the presenter of blame.
It emerged last night that it was Clarkson who first reported the incident to Danny Cohen, the Director of Television, on Monday.
The presenter was aware the “fracas” had caused upset among some of the Top Gear team and chose to give his version to BBC bosses before news leaked.
Richard Littlejohn, the Daily Mail columnist and a longstanding friend of Mr Clarkson, wrote: “My understanding is that Tymon hasn’t made an official complaint.
“Clarkson denies punching him, but admits there was ‘contact’ and has apologised profusely.
“It’s the kind of thing
which happens when people are living under pressure in each other’s pockets. Dressing room fisticuffs are not unknown among rock stars or on rugby tours. Normally what happens on tour stays on tour.”
Mr Littlejohn accused Mr Cohen, who has previously clashed with Mr Clarkson, of seizing “an irresistible opportunity to dispose of his bete noire once and for all”.
Mr Clarkson is said to be confident about the outcome of the disciplinary process. His critics believe he is seeking to use support in the media to try to smooth over a bout of unacceptable behaviour.
Sunday’s Top Gear has been cancelled along with the remaining episodes of the BBC2 series.
The failure to deliver episodes of the BBC’s most lucrative factual entertainment format to overseas broadcasters could cost the Corporation millions of pounds.
With Mr Clarkson’s contract due to run out next month, some within the BBC are pushing for a swift decision on the his future.
An online petition calling for his reinstatement has more than 700,000 signatories. Mr Tymon, who has worked with Mr Clarkson for seven years and produced more than 75 episodes of Top Gear, will give his account at a disciplinary hearing, to which the presenter has been summoned.
Director-general Tony Hall refused to speculate about Clarkson’s future as the BBC launched an investigation into the fracas.
He said: “There is a lot of speculation, we have got to establish the facts and I intend to do that before we come to a final decision. That is what we are about to do.”
The star has attracted high-profile support including from Prime Minister David Cameron.