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Sky denies Jeremy Clarkson talks over new motoring show

Jeremy Clarkson is unlikely to continue his career at rival broadcaster Sky if a tweet from a high-ranking employee is anything to go by.

A rumour that suggested the ex-Top Gear presenter and co-stars James May and Richard Hammond were in talks with Sky to create a new program called ‘Top Speed’ has been categorically denied by Sky entertainment director Stuart Murphy.

Speaking to Twitter user Andrew Ford, who was asking whether there was any truth to the rumour, Murphy said: ” That is categorically not true.”

Ford then tweeted “Let’s get Clarkson!”, to which Murphy replied: “We aren’t going to sign up someone who punches a colleague in the face. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you or anyone at Sky.”

Sky is seemingly maintaining distance between itself and the presenter who punched BBC produced Oisin Tymon – and not for the first time. A ‘well-placed’ source inside Sky told the Radio Times it was “not interested”.

Another source highlighted the fact Clarkson would be a bad fit for Sky’s family-oriented nature.

Both stories fly in the face of Sky owner Rupert Murdoch’s earlier tweet: “How stupid can BBC be in firing Jeremy Clarkson? Funny man with great expertise and huge following.”

Other UK outlets have allegedly closed the door on Clarkson. A source at ITV claims Clarkson would not be hired, while Channel 4 has reportedly come to a similar conclusion. Clarkson, meanwhile, is said to have “no interest” in joining Channel 5.

Given the supposed lack of interest in the controversial presenter, our prediction for a Netflix bid is becoming more likely. There is, in fact, a petition to encourage Netflix to consider it and so far it has amassed 3,500 signatures.

A move to the US, where the money would be greater, also makes sense, especially when you consider long-term enemy Piers Morgan failed to conquer American hearts and minds. Bragging rights could be a great incentive.

May and Hammond might have to continue to perform at the live shows without Clarkson with the exception of one show in Australia, owing to a loophole. But in terms of Top Gear on television, it is looking increasingly like it will need all new presenters.

“I think we are very much the three of us as a package. It works for very complicated reasons that a lot of people don’t fully understand,” May said in a television interview with Sky, hinting that by firing Clarkson, the trio synonymous with the show will walk.

Top Gear will return to screens in 2016, but details on the show and who will present it are scarce. JK, Piers Morgan, Jodie Kidd and Chris Evans are among a number of celebrities said to fit the role.

The storm surrounding the ‘fracas’ has been raging on to the point where a petition to reinstate Clarkson at the BBC reached more than one million petitions, while Beeb Director-General Tony Hall is now getting 24/7 security after receiving death threats from angry fans.

It is, therefore, more than likely rival broadcasters will let the dust settle if they do decide to capitalise on Clarkson’s loyal and sizable audience or risk inheriting a lot of internet hate.


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