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Clarkson's punch 'a smack in the chops' for whole team
Top Gear editor writes about the 'madness and genius' of the show
A former editor on Top Gear has blasted Jeremy Clarkson for showing 'a lack of respect' to all those who'd worked tirelessly on the show when he punched a producer in a row over a steak dinner.
Richard Porter says Clarkson lamping Oison Tymon following a shoot in March was 'a smack in the chops' to all the background team on the BBC show who'd 'happily work long and late, trying to find a unicorn, a Talbot Samba and a cat that looked like Kylie Minogue if that's what Jeremy wanted.'
Writing in his book, 'And On That Bombshell: Inside the madness and genius of Top Gear', the script editor described the fracas that ensued when Clarkson was offered soup and cold meat rather than steak as 'so stupid and so unnecessary', insisting the host 'let us all down'.
He wrote: 'When the reward for the team's hard work was a smack in the chops, that suggested a lack of respect for the people who worked so tirelessly to make his vision a reality.'
However, he insisted that the 55-year-old's 'half-hearted' apology was even worse - as the multi-millionaire host didn't even bother sitting down or taking off his jacket to tell the team he'd worked alongside for 13 years that he was sorry.
Porter explained: 'He didn't sit down or even take his jacket off. He just told us he'd made a confession to management and that he was sorry to all of us.
'With that he left the office for what would be the very last time.
'I was furious. Properly, knee-jigglingly, teeth-grindingly furious. His apology seemed half-hearted and feeble, like a child saying the word sorry because they know it's what the adults want to hear, rather than a sincere reflection of remorse.'
The BBC refused to renew Clarkson's contract following the scuffle, which happened at the Simonstone Hall hotel in Hawes, North Yorkshire.
His Top Gear co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond followed him out the door, and all three have since signed a megabucks deal with online broadcaster Amazon to front a new motoring series.
Porter admitted that it was almost no surprise that the magazine show ended the way it did.
'Over the years all of us on the show had bickered and bitched and behaved as a close-knit group of people does, but we'd never started lamping each other,' he said.
'The truly sad thing is, it was never meant to end this way. But actually, in this silly, feckless, chlidish, calamitous stupid world we created, it's really no surprise that it did.'
Despite his ill-feelings over Clarkson's punch, Porter - who's book also revealed how Clarkson's love for Rosé wine earned him the nickname Axl Rosé - spoke highly of the notoriously firebrand host, describing him as 'a connoisseur of words' and 'the engine room at the heart of Top Gear ideas'.
Chris Evans will bring Top Gear back to the BBC in March next year