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Sharon Walters: Why Jeremy Clarkson had to go

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Millions of TV viewers will be mourning the loss of Jeremy Clarkson from the driving seat of Top Gear, writes Motoring Editor Sharon Walters.

Jeremy Clarkson's updated Twitter profile

And they'll probably also be mourning the loss of his two co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May who have said they will not continue if their mate was sacked.

No matter how much he has been loved for his antics on the show, it really is time for the BBC to put a stop to his at times outrageous and inappropriate behaviour.

I'm not being a stick-in-the-mud or holier than thou, heaven forbid, but lashing out as he did in a row over being offered a bowl of soup rather than the steak he wanted is unforgiveable. Let's face it if had not been a celebrity, the police could well have been called and assault charges followed.

Physical violence over the fact a kitchen is closed belongs in a backstreet.

Whether it should have made the headlines is questionable. People are dying in war zones, children are starving and racisim is rife. How about tackling these far more important issues instead?

Entertaining TV is great but headlining major news bulletins on national TV when a presenter is taken off air for, quite simply, thuggish, behaviour ?

What is important is that he is treated the same way as anybody else who acts like a lout and that the BBC is seen to be taking positive action.

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It all leaves a nasty taste in the mouth and especially so just days after the death of the Birmingham-based BBC producer who created Top Gear in the late 70s.

Derek Smith, who lived in Sutton Coldfield, hit on the idea as he looked out over the car park at the BBC's old Birmingham base at Pebble Mill. It's a pity his baby has ended up in such a mess.

Bookies' favourites to replace star:

  • Former super model Jodie Kidd is 2/1 with betting firm Betway to replace Jeremy Clarkson as Top Gear host.
  • Another in the race for the Top Gear hot seat is Radio 2 breakfast show host Chris Evans. The presenter has long had a passion for cars and punters can get 11/4 with Betway that he takes the wheel, although he insists he's not interested.
  • Steve Coogan is also a warm lead and is available at 9/2, while Stephen Fry is 9/2 and former Formula One driver Eddie Jordan is at 7/1.
  • Since being dropped from ITV, Adrian Chiles is out of work and can be backed at 25/1 to head back to the BBC.
  • Betway’s Alan Alger said: “Jodie Kidd is our favourite to take over from Jeremy Clarkson having expressed her joy at being linked with the role early in the week. But Stephen Fry is the one we have seen money for at this stage.”

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