After his last ever Top Gear episode screened on Sunday night, Jeremy Clarkson said he was ‘so sad and sorry it’s ended like this’.

The final episode featuring Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond screened on BBC Two. Clarkson was sacked from the show after he physically assaulted Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon earlier this year.

Clarkson tweeted to fans his ‘thanks and encouragement over the years’ after the show.

The show itself, which ran for 75 minutes, made no reference to their departure, nor the circumstances. It included two separate segments featuring the trio and included a voiceover from Jeremy Clarkson ,while May and Hammond filmed new links.

Closing the show, May said: “Thank you very much for watching and, well, goodbye.”

Hammond later tweeted enigmatically about the ‘incredible adventure’ the trio had embarked on during their decade-long stint on Top Gear.

With the kind of humnour much beloved by fans of Top Gear, May tweeted:

Introducing the show, May welcomed viewers by saying: “Hello, and welcome to what’s left of Top Gear.”

Behind him was the ‘elephant in the room’, a 10ft plastic replica elephant which the show’s makers borrowed from a Hull design company. It was called Jeremy.

It’s expected to be the highest rating episode of Top Gear, beating the audience of 8.35 million who tuned in to see Lewis Hamilton’s appearance in December 2007.

TV and radio broadcaster Chris Evans will be the new presenter of the globally popular motoring show when it eventually returns.