Ex-'Top Gear' host apologizes to producer he hit

Posted at 5:36 AM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 07:52:03-05

LONDON (AP) — Jeremy Clarkson, the former host of hit BBC auto show "Top Gear," apologized Wednesday and paid an undisclosed sum to a producer he punched in an off-set altercation.

Clarkson was fired in March 2015 after hitting Oisin Tymon and calling him a "lazy Irish (expletive)" during a dispute at the end of a day's filming.

Tymon sued for personal injury and racial discrimination.

His law firm, Slater & Gordon, said Wednesday that the suit had been settled. In a statement, Clarkson said: "I would like to say sorry, once again, to Oisin Tymon for the incident and its regrettable aftermath."

Financial details of the settlement were not disclosed, although the BBC reported it was more than 100,000 pounds ($140,000), to which both Clarkson and the BBC contributed.

The incident threatened the future of one of the BBC's most popular shows — and biggest international earners. "Top Gear" has won a huge following around the world with its mix of car tips, driving stunts and jokey banter.

The BBC is relaunching "Top Gear" with a new team of hosts including DJ Chris Evans and former "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc.

Clarkson and his "Top Gear" co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond have signed up to a rival show on Amazon's TV service.