Legal loophole may allow Clarkson to create Top Gear rival

Jeremy Clarkson's TV comeback
Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Despite being barred from working for ITV due to a non-compete clause in his BBC contract, former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson may have found a legal loophole that would allow him to create a rival motoring series.

Legal representatives for Clarkson, as well as co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May, believe the by using a US production company to make the show, they would not be in violation of the non-compete clause, which prevents them working with a UK broadcaster until 2017.

This would not prevent the trio from selling the rights to broadcasters across the world, including in the UK.

Any new show featuring Clarkson may not make it to TV at all, as the presenter – formerly one of the Beeb's highest paid talents – is still considering an offer from online broadcaster Netflix, the Sunday Mirror reports.

Clarkson was let go by the BBC in March, after the corporation refused to renew his contract after he assaulted Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon. Even a petition bearing one million signatures – and delivered to the BBC by a 'Stig' in a tank – failed to save him.

Co-hosts Hammond and May declined to renew their own contracts, meaning the future of Top Gear was in doubt, until One Show host and former radio DJ Chris Evans was named as the show's new front man. The BBC is currently holding public auditions to find further members of the new line-up.

Author: Joe Richardson