Jeremy Clarkson has slammed the brakes on his planned re-appearance on the BBC since he was fired for attacking a producer who worked on Top Gear.
The controversial star was due to appear as a host on Have I Got News For You later this month on April 24, but decided to pull out only two weeks before filming, the Telegraph reports.
His appearance just two weeks before the general election was bound to provide plenty of material for team captains Paul Merton and Ian Hislop who pull no punches with guest panellists or hosts if there is a joke to be made – or a hypocrisy to highlight.
Jimmy Mulville, managing director of Hat Trick Productions which makes the show, said: “On reflection, Jeremy Clarkson has decided not to host Have I Got News For You. We fully expect him to resume his hosting duties later in the year.”
He had previously commented: “We always have a field day with Jeremy … Maybe we will get the producer on so he can hit Jeremy Clarkson live on television.”
Although he was sacked from presenting the hugely successful motoring show, a BBC spokesman clarified that “he isn’t banned from appearing on the BBC.”
Clarkson has appeared on the show 12 times, 11 times as host.
He was suspended by the BBC on March 10 becoming the subject of an internal investigation after he split the lip of Top Gear producer Oison Tymon.
Clarkson’s contract was not renewed, with director-general Tony Hall saying at the time “a line has been crossed” and “there cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another”.