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Former BBC Boss Says Firing Jeremy Clarkson From 'Top Gear' Was Mistake

The former BBC boss admits firing 'Top Gear' host Jeremy Clarkson last year may have been a big mistake.

Clarkson was famously fired after punching a producer during an argument. James May and Richard Hammond followed after saying they wouldn't do the show without him.

"Clarkson can be a deeply objectionable individual, and I say that as a friend. I don't think people should punch their colleagues," Mark Thompson tells UK's Sunday Times Magazine. "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. He spoke to people who didn't find much else in the BBC."

British radio host Chris Evans was brought in following Clarkson's exit to take the wheel. But that ended in disaster and he quit last month after ratings continued to plummet.

Thompson went on to say that Evans shot himself in the foot by trying to "impersonate" Clarkson.

Meanwhile, Clarkson, May and Hammond are set to return with a new car show on Amazon Prime with 12 episodes each for the as yet unnamed program that will go into production next year.

August 25, 2016 |

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