Entertainment TV Top Gear co-hosts may also quit

Top Gear co-hosts may also quit

Top Gear Richard Hammond James May Jeremy Clarkson
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Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear colleagues have strongly hinted they will also leave the popular car show after his dismissal, saying “it wasn’t going to last forever”.

James May and Richard Hammond have both been vocal about the BBC’s decision to dismiss 54-year-old Clarkson over a scuffle with a producer.

Hammond said he was “gutted” following the announcement, while May called it a “tragedy”.

• BBC sacks Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear
• ‘There is no Top Gear without Clarkson’
• Top Gear: calls for Alan Partridge to replace Clarkson

In a new development, Clarkson and May were both spotted meeting Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman in London on Thursday.

Speaking outside his London home following the meeting, May said the three men were a “package” and revealed he was considering a career change.

“I might want to do something completely different with my life, I’m quite old now. I might do something outside of cars, I always wanted to be a teacher,” May told reporters.

“We did it for 12 years. It’s a very big moment in our lives, but nothing was going to last forever. We always knew it wasn’t going to last forever. We just didn’t know how it was going to end.

“So here I go, I’m about to eat some beans and go back to my normal life.”

Jeremy Clarkson top gear
Jeremy Clarkson being followed by photographers following his meeting with James May. Photo: Getty

The presenter has been tweeting about his daily activities in recent weeks while an investigation into Clarkson’s behaviour had the show in hiatus.

As of Friday his Twitter profile reads “former TV presenter”.

“I’ve sorted out that difficult cupboard under the sink. #StillUnemployed,” May tweeted earlier this week.

Hammond, who lives outside of London, was absent from the meeting, but in a tweet following the announcement said all three of the men were “idiots”.Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 10.43.30 am

“Gutted at such a sad end to an era. We’re all three of us idiots in our different ways but it’s been an incredible ride together,” he told his two million followers.

Speaking on BBC radio on Thursday night, BBC’s creative director Alan Yentob said it would be “very challenging” to find a replacement for Clarkson, and admitted the trio were “very attached”.

“They are a team. They have worked together for a very long time, they are all very attached,” Mr Yentob said.

“If Jeremy is not in it and Richard and James are, that needs to be a conversation with them as well.”

Clarkson was stood down on Wednesday after he verbally and physically attacked Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon.

“For me, a line has been crossed,” BBC chief Lord Hall said at a press conference.

“There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial consideration.”

The decision is expected to hurt the BBC financially, with more than four million viewers switching off after the show was pulled off air during an investigation into the fray.

A petition to keep Clarkson on the show also received more than one million signatures.

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