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'Top Gear' falls apart after Jeremy Clarkson's expulsion

Ousted Top Gear co-host Jeremy Clarkson speaks out, founding producer Andy Wilman quits and host James May expresses reluctance to return to show after March incident.

By Marilyn Malara
Former 'Top Gear' co-host Jeremy Clarkson was cut from the show after physically injuring producer Oisin Tymon in March. The BBC has experienced heavy backlash since its decision but emerging stories make Clarkson's return to the show questionable. Photo by Top Gear/Facebook
Former 'Top Gear' co-host Jeremy Clarkson was cut from the show after physically injuring producer Oisin Tymon in March. The BBC has experienced heavy backlash since its decision but emerging stories make Clarkson's return to the show questionable. Photo by Top Gear/Facebook

LONDON, April 24 (UPI) -- Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson said he will "miss" being on the show in his column in the U.K.'s Sun newspaper.

Clarkson has not spoken in-depth about the issue since his forced departure in March, Sky News reports.

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"Heartfelt thanks to all those who have written to say how much they will miss me on Top Gear," he wrote in Saturday's column.

"It's not as much, however, as I'll miss being there."

The BBC chose not to renew Clarkson's contract after "a line had been crossed" during a physical altercation with producer Oisin Tymon.

Top Gear co-host James May also said he would not return to the show without Clarkson, the Guardian reports. Doing so with a "surrogate Jeremy" would be "lame."

May's feelings toward the idea do not rule out his expectation to be on the show, however. "It doesn't mean I won't go back, we may all go back in the future. It might just be we have a break from it. I don't know."

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May says that the British media network hasn't "completely closed the door," on Clarkson return. BBC2 head Kim Shillinglaw said nothing is stopping Clarkson from returning to the network, but she is looking to place female hosts at the forefront of the next season of the car show. Both the public and close allies of Clarkson have expressed deep discontent with the BBC's decision to cut the host. As a result, producer Andy Wilman has also left the show, BBC confirms.

Wilman helped Clarkson reinvent the show after coming close to flopping 15 years ago. The duo reportedly brainstormed new ways to refresh the broadcast and helped it gain the global notoriety it has today.

"Jeremy will be back to the BBC," said Shillinglaw. "It is serious and unfortunate what happened but here is no ban on Jeremy being on the BBC. It's a big deal what happened and Jeremy, as any human being would, needs some time out."

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