Jeremy Clarkson is returning to the BBC — sort of. The broadcaster will go forward with airing footage from the last three episodes of Top Gear‘s most recent season. The hit motoring series was pulled in March after Clarkson was suspended for a dust-up with a producer, leaving BBC Two and other networks including BBC America scrambling to reschedule programming while Clarkson’s fate was decided. Ultimately, the BBC said it would not renew the host’s contract. Although not enough footage was shot for three full episodes, BBC Two Controller Kim Shillinglaw told BBC News, “No way would I want the available material not to be seen by viewers.” It is expected to air this summer. “It’s serious and unfortunate what happened but there is no ban on Jeremy being on the BBC,” Shillinglaw said.
The BBC is still facing the challenge of prepping a Clarkson-less Top Gear for next year with no word on whether cronies Richard Hammond or James May will return. In his Sunday Times column this week, Clarkson addressed the recent happenings, lamenting his current state of ennui after being “thrust into the world of early retirement.” He wrote, however, of his determination to get back to work. “I have lost my baby but I shall create another. I don’t know who the other parent will be or what the baby will be like, but I cannot sit around any more organizing my photograph albums.”
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