Jeremy Clarkson is both loved and hated—and that, in part, is his magic. Fans and foes alike have fueled the Clarkson brand over the years, even up to and after the fisticuffs fracas that put an end to the world’s greatest motoring TV show. Now, just a month after his termination, Clarkson will be coming back to the BBC—but it won’t be on Top Gear, and, it appears today, it won't be this month.
Earlier this week, the U.K.’s Mirror reported that Clarkson would be a guest on Have I Got News For You, on BBC1. Today, the Mirror followed up with a report that Clarkson's scheduled April appearance is now canceled, though an appearance later in the year is still planned.
Critics predict that Clarkson will face criticism and jokes at the hands of hosts Paul Merton and Ian Hislop as well as any other guests booked to the show, whenever he finally shows up.
One layer of the Clarkson Fracas Cake that may have played a role in his delayed appearance on Have I Got News For You is that a general election is coming up on May 7, and his appearance on the show—and the BBC in general—could have proved a contentious event for the dominant Conservative Party (or Tories, as they’re also known).
Even though Clarkson was fired for his physical and verbal assault on Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, a BBC spokesperson told the Mirror, “Jeremy’s contract has not been renewed on Top Gear but he isn’t banned from appearing on the BBC.”
Nonetheless, the appearance comes as a surprise to many, and may be considered by some as yet another endorsement of Clarkson’s boorish antics, which in the past has included racist remarks, suggesting that striking public workers be executed in front of their families, insults to the mentally challenged, the idea that truck drivers are prostitute-murdering serial killers, parking in spots reserved for the disabled, and calling the British Prime Minister a “one-eyed Scottish idiot,” among other … gaffes.