Today (March 25, 2015) the BBC’s Director-General issued a statement which included the fact that Jeremy Clarkson’s contract on TopGear would not be continued.
There was a concerted campaign by, what one can only assume, fans of the show to keep Jeremy in position. However, when you read the detail of the investigation that was carried out by Ken MacQuarrie you realise that here was a man (Jeremy) – using his position as a highly paid star to bully, intimidate and physically attack a member of staff (the producer) – because no hot food was made available to him. This is from a man who is estimated to be a multi-millionaire. Let him by his own f’ing dinner.
Tony Hall made the following points.
The BBC is a broad church. Our strength in many ways lies in that diversity. We need distinctive and different voices but they cannot come at any price.
This has obviously been difficult for everyone involved but in particular for Oisin. I want to make clear that no blame attaches to him for this incident. He has behaved with huge integrity throughout.
When you read the findings of the investigation – which is not disputed by Jeremy, you will read of a tale which seems to echo the 1980s and 1990s when bullying and intimidation were epidemic in all walks of business and life. We have moved from the days when this type of intimidation is acceptable. As the investigation states ” it is clear that Oisin Tymon (producer attacked by Jeremy) was shocked and distressed by the incident, and believed that he had lost his job”.
Jeremy Clarkson will now probably do the chat show rounds and the whole incident will be turned into some kind of bloke skirmish. However, it is far from that. It’s not only serious but Clarkson should be ashamed that he behaved in the way he did. He should be pilloried for what he done – not made into some kind of – laddish quibble sorted out the ‘man’s way’.
Investigation findings – Ken MacQuarrie
On 9 March 2015, Jeremy Clarkson reported to BBC management that he had been involved in a physical and verbal incident with Oisin Tymon, the producer of Top Gear, at the Simonstone Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire, whilst working on location. The incident had occurred on 4 March 2015 and Jeremy Clarkson was suspended on 10 March, pending investigation.
I was asked to undertake an investigation to establish the facts of what occurred. In conducting my investigation, in line with the BBC’s usual practice, I interviewed a number of witnesses and others connected with the incident. Accounts were agreed, based on my interviews, with each participant.
Having conducted these interviews and considered the evidence presented, I conclude the following: on 4 March 2015 Oisin Tymon was subject to an unprovoked physical and verbal attack by Jeremy Clarkson. During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in swelling and bleeding to his lip. The verbal abuse was sustained over a longer period, both at the time of the physical attack and subsequently.
Specific facts I have found as part of my investigation are as follows: earlier on 4 March, studio recording of Top Gear had taken place in Surrey and the presenters had travelled that same evening to the location shoot in North Yorkshire;
- the incident occurred on a patio area of the Simonstone Hall Hotel, where Oisin Tymon was working on location for Top Gear;
- the physical attack lasted around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness;
- it is the case that Oisin Tymon offered no retaliation;
- the verbal abuse was directed at Oisin Tymon on more than one occasion – both during the attack and subsequently inside the hotel – and contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack him. The abuse was at such volume as to be heard in the dining room, and the shouting was audible in a hotel bedroom;
- derogatory and abusive language, relating to Oisin Tymon and other members of the Top Gear team, continued to be used by Jeremy Clarkson inside the hotel, in the presence of others, for a sustained period of time;
- it is clear that Oisin Tymon was shocked and distressed by the incident, and believed that he had lost his job;
- following the attack, I understand that Oisin Tymon drove to a nearby A&E department for examination;
- over the subsequent days, Jeremy Clarkson made a number of attempts to apologise to Oisin Tymon by way of text, email and in person; and
- it is the case that Jeremy Clarkson reported the incident to BBC management.
It was not disputed by Jeremy Clarkson or any witness that Oisin Tymon was the victim of an unprovoked physical and verbal attack. It is also clear to me that Oisin Tymon is an important creative member of the Top Gear team who is well-valued and respected. He has suffered significant personal distress as a result of this incident, through no fault of his own.