Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has pulled out of his planned appearance hosting BBC satirical show Have I Got News For You.
The star was due to appear later this month – marking his first BBC appearance since the corporation let him go after he attacked a producer on the hit motoring show.
Jimmy Mulville, managing director of Hat Trick Productions which makes the show, said: “On reflection, Jeremy Clarkson has decided not to host Have I Got News For You. We fully expect him to resume his hosting duties later in the year.”
He had been due to record his appearance on Have I Got News For You on April 23 to be broadcast on April 24.
The star was suspended by the broadcaster on March 10 when he became the subject of an internal BBC investigation after he attacked Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, splitting his lip and verbally abusing him.
Jeremy’s contract was not renewed, with director-general Tony Hall saying at the time ‘a line has been crossed’ and ‘there cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another’.
But the star received widespread public support – including from his friend Prime Minister David Cameron – in the aftermath of the fracas, and one million people signed a petition calling for the BBC to reinstate him.
Though his Top Gear contract was not renewed, Jeremy has not been banned from appearing on the BBC altogether.
It emerged last week that he will appear on stage with his former Top Gear colleagues, Richard Hammond and James May, later this year to fulfil a series of shows planned before he left the BBC.
The gigs will be stripped of all BBC branding and content, and billed as Clarkson, Hammond and May Live.
Not a HIGNFY presenter, for now (Anthony Devlin/PA)
That means the shows, which will take place in Australia, Norway, South Africa and the UK, will not be able to use clips from the show or feature The Stig.
The move has sparked rumours that the three men intend to team up to continue their careers together after Jeremy’s exit from the corporation, but sources close to the tour say it is just a matter of fulfilling commitments to the fans.
The future of the show’s other two presenters – Hammond and May – is unclear, with both men’s Top Gear contracts having run out.