Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Alan Yentob's shuttle-lunching seems to have got the Not Quite Top Gear roadshow back on the pantechnicon, with the news that punters who have bought tickets for the programme's arena events in the UK and around the world will be able to see two nice guys. Hammond and May, and one puncher, Clarkson, perform for their entertainment.

The real contortions to achieve this compromise come from BBC Worldwide, where a spokesman said "So as not to disappoint the thousands of people around the world who have already purchased tickets, BBC Worldwide has agreed with our joint venture partner Brand Events that the remainder of the tour can continue".

The BBC's contracts with outside suppliers are full of detail. Here's a para from the updated-last-month standard terms for independent production companies....

"The Producer acknowledges that the BBC does not tolerate any form of bullying and/or harassment and is committed to providing a workplace in which the dignity of individuals is respected. It expects its suppliers to have the same attitude and to have in place a company policy addressing the subject of bullying and harassment, which will be made available to the BBC on request."

So Mr Clarkson has apparently been sufficiently punished by non-renewal of one BBC contract, and is now repentant enough to benefit from another BBC contract. Or something like that. Staff heading slowly but surely to the bosom of Worldwide in the emerging BBC Studios will note this loss-avoiding compromise with interest.

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