Noel Edmonds slams BBC over Top Gear

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TV presenter Noel Edmonds has criticised the BBC over its handling of the latest Jeremy Clarkson controversy, accusing top executives of "sheer incompetence".

The 'Deal or No Deal' host, who is himself a former Top Gear presenter, said that blame for the incident lies firmly with BBC management's inability to "manage one of the best talents on TV".

Jeremy Clarkson was this week suspended from the BBC after a 'fracas' with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon. While details of the spat are unclear, it is alleged that Clarkson lashed out due to being upset with catering arrangements following filming for the show.

The remainder of the current series has been postponed indefinitely.

Now, Edmonds has hit out at the BBC, saying that it is the viewers that are being penalised. Speaking to The Guardian, he said: "You have to laugh at the sheer incompetence of BBC management.

"Here is a hugely popular production, arguably one of the BBC's most valuable productions, which is apparently being pulled from the schedule because of one of the presenters [being] involved in an incident. Top Gear has multiple hosts and it is not as if the whole show is live and the content is created on a single day.

"So why not just re-edit what they have got and let the other two presenters continue? I find the BBC's position extraordinary in that on the one hand they say that Clarkson is not bigger than the BBC but on other hand they pull the show which rather suggests he is."

He then went on to attack the corporate culture at the BBC in general: "Over the last 20 years of appalling BBC management, viewers have come second in the BBC agenda," he said.

"We have seen this in executive pay, decisions on expansion of the organisation and the recent discussion about closing some parts of the BBC ... There used to be an old saying that if you are employed by the BBC, you are never bigger than the smallest part of the corporation.

"Now it appears to be the case that you are no bigger than the smallest part of the management. The viewer is yet again losing out. The viewer is the casualty."

Noel Edmonds has previously revealed his wish to buy the BBC, along with a group of investors, and run it as a private company.

Do you want to see Jeremy Clarkson return to Top Gear? Do you think the show can continue without him? Let us know in the comments section below.