Jeremy Clarkson officially dropped by the BBC | News | DW | 25.03.2015
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Jeremy Clarkson officially dropped by the BBC

The BBC has decided not to renew the contract of controversial Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson was suspended from the network after getting into a fight with a producer.

Director-General of the BBC, Tony Hall, made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday.

"It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract," he said.

In a message broadcast by the network, Hall said he made his decision "based on the facts," and that the producer involved had endured prolonged physical and verbal abuse from Clarkson "using words that no one should have to endure."

He also paid tribute to the star, calling him a "unique talent" and thanked him for his "extraordinary contribution" to the BBC.

Clarkson, 54, has hosted the current version of the popular auto show for almost 10 years, alongside Richard Hammond and James May.

Top Gear is one of the most widely-watched and well-known television shows in the world, airing in more than 200 countries and generating huge profits for the broadcaster.

During that time Clarkson has managed to offend a wide range of institutions, including charities, environmental groups and even several countries.

His frank style has also won him an international fanbase.

Last year a minor diplomatic incident was sparked after the team drove a car in Argentina with the registration plate "H982 FKL."

Some suggested it could refer to the country's 1982 war with Britain over the Falkland Islands.

Clarkson was on his final warning after being accused of using racist language while filming the show last year.

He has worked for the BBC since 1988.

The latest incident, in which Clarkson allegedly got into a fracas with producer Oisin Tymon, saw him suspended from the show while an investigation was carried out.

Tymon was apparently left with swelling and bleeding to his lip.

Clarkson reported the incident himself and didn't deny it was unprovoked.

Clarkson, who updated his Twitter account description after the announcement from "probably a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show, Top Gear" to "used to be a presenter," has not commented, with his last tweet posted a few hours ago saying he hadn't yet been told anything.

An online petition to reinstate Clarkson garnered more than a million signatures from around the globe.

an/kms (Reuters, AFP)

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