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Summary

  1. Jeremy Clarkson contract will not be renewed
  2. Inquiry reveals "unprovoked physical and verbal attack"
  3. BBC director general "cannot condone" Clarkson's actions
  4. Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon calls Clarkson "a unique talent"
  5. Zayn Mailk quits One Direction

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Change of direction

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent

That's it for today's live page which has been dominated by the news about Jeremy Clarkson.

But we sign off with the breaking story that Zayn Malik has left One Direction.

Read all the details on the Newsbeat site. - and we'll be back with more entertainment news tomorrow.

Russell Crowe on Clarkson

Russell Crowe with Tim Muffett
BBC

Speaking before the BBC decided not to renew Jeremy Clarkson's contract, Gladiator star Russell Crowe offered his thoughts on his time on Top Gear.

"That show is about Jeremy Clarkson," he told BBC Breakfast's Tim Muffett. "It's about his sensibility."

"Jeremy does have a bit of a reputation, but that's part of his charm and his beauty."

Watch the full interview.

Jeremy Clarkson - your views

Email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk

Lots of you have got in touch to give us your views on Jeremy Clarkson's sacking.

Cathy emails: "Totally the right decision! I thought Top Gear was getting tired anyway!"

Michael Jobson emails: "Frankly there is nobody in the entertainment industry with the passion that Jeremy has for cars, the programme itself and the audience. He relates to his audience in particular in a unique way. He truly understands the passion that some have for cars, he is truly one of the petrol heads who love the programme.

"I for one will not bother watching the show with a new star. There is no point as there is only one Jeremy Clarkson and he truly is Top Gear."

David Sedgwick emails: "I think Jeremy Clarkson's dismissal is the right move for the BBC. I am a fan of Jeremy, and of the show. He will be sadly missed, but I'll still watch Top Gear.

"The morals are key here. 1) he stepped over the line, and 2) no presenter is bigger that the show or the company. It's gross misconduct at the end of the day."

Eric Mackereth emails: "Well done in ridding us of this self-centred, ill-mannered bully. He's the sort of person you hope your children never grow up to be like."

Ana Furman emails: "A disgrace. Whatever rubbish the BBC come up with for 2016 it will be without me. Top Gear has no interest for me without the three of them. Regardless if it works or not - those are the three I want to watch."

Marguerite Caunt emails: "Bravo BBC - well done on a brave decision. I love Top Gear but there are limits and Clarkson has crossed the line too many times. No one is irreplaceable."

Paul Heim emails: "Although, I understand BBC's decision on the situation, my hope is that Clarkson, May, and Hammond unite on a another show of this same magnitude to continue their quirky unique rhetoric."

Daniel emails: "This was one of the very few show on the BBC I actually enjoyed. Yes Mr Clarkson's actions were wrong, however, they were not inexcusable. There were alternative means to punish Mr Clarkson, financially being an obvious choice.

"The BBC's decision to remove him, effectively ending this show, demonstrates a complete disconnect from the license fee payer and their wishes from BBC television."

BreakingBreaking News

Zayn Malik quits One Direction

Zayn Malik
BBC

We interrupt the rolling Clarkson coverage to tell you that Zayn Malik has quit One Direction.

He said: "I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."

The group, who are currently on tour in Asia said: "We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future."

The band added in a statement on their Facebook page: "Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year."

Of course, we remember the X Factor auditions - when Zayn nearly the

quit the band before it started.

Local angle on Clarkson

Cheddar Valley Gazette
Cheddar Valley Gazette

One local newspaper has offered its own, unique take on the Clarkson story.

The

Cheddar Valley Gazette said the Clarkson decision "comes just two years after Clarkson's colleague James May filmed a sequence with a double-decker bus in Cheddar Gorge".

"Clarkson is not believed to have been there for the filming," its story continued.

Downing Street statement

Responding to the Clarkson decision, Downing Street said that Prime Minister David Cameron believed that "if you do something wrong at work there can be consequences" and that "aggressive and abusive behaviour is not acceptable in the workplace".

Live long and prosper?

Responses to the BBC's Jeremy Clarkson decision have come from far and wide. Witness this tweet from Star Trek actor William Shatner, presumably sent from the Starship Enterprise.

William Shatner tweet
William Shatner/Twitter

Read more reactions to Clarkson's departure.

Clarkson petition latest

Last week a petition was delivered to the BBC on an Abbott self-propelled gun, calling for Jeremy Clarkson's reinstatement.

An hour and three-quarters after the Clarkson announcement, the number of signatories

stood at 1,035,358.

Bectu on Clarkson decision

Bectu is the UK's media and entertainment trade union and has around 25,000 members, a significant number of whom work at the BBC.

"We don't rejoice in today's announcement, but there is absolutely no doubt the BBC's decision to end its contractual arrangement with Jeremy Clarkson is the right one.

"Physical assault in the workplace is not acceptable, no matter how big the talent or how valuable the show."

Read the full statement.

Clarkson's replacement

Jodie Kidd
Getty Images

Bookmakers are already taking bets on whom will replace Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear, with both William Hill and Ladbrokes tipping DJ Chris Evans for the position.

Piers Morgan is also among the names being touted to take over, as are Dermot O'Leary, Johnny Vaughan and model Jodie Kidd (pictured).

The bookies are also taking bets on whether Richard Hammond and James May will step down as presenters now that they would no longer be appearing alongside Clarkson on the BBC motoring show.

Richard Hammond

@RichardHammond

"

Gutted at such a sad end to an era. We're all three of us idiots in our different ways but it's been an incredible ride together."

North Yorkshire Police statement

"North Yorkshire Police is liaising with the BBC regarding the alleged incident in North Yorkshire involving Jeremy Clarkson.

"We have asked the BBC for the report which details the findings of their internal investigation into the matter.

"The information will be assessed appropriately and action will be taken by North Yorkshire Police where necessary.

"It would not be appropriate for North Yorkshire Police to comment further at this time."

Reaction to Clarkson decision

"

My son Joshua and I are saddened because @JeremyClarkson isn't returning to @BBC_TopGear. We love that show." - Donny Osmond

"

Without @JeremyClarkson there IS no #TopGear I grew up with that show, what a sad day for TV. #RIPtopgear." - former EastEnder Matt Di'angelo

"

I'm not sure which news is worse; @JeremyClarkson losing a job or @piersmorgan getting one." - Gary Lineker, referring to news that Piers Morgan is to guest host Good Morning Britain on ITV next month.

James May on Clarkson decision

James May and Jeremy Clarkson
PA

Presenter James May has given his reaction to the BBC's decision not to renew Jeremy Clarkson's contract, calling the situation "a tragedy".

"I'm sorry that what ought to have been a small incident sorted out easily has turned into something big," he told reporters outside his house.

The broadcaster said he was "sure Top Gear will continue in some way" but refused to confirm whether he and Richard Hammond would remain on the show.

"I think we are very much, the three of us, a package. It works for very complicated reasons that a lot of people don't fully understand.

"So that will require a lot of careful thought."

Watch the interview.

'Expletives and threats'

The man charged with looking into the Top Gear "fracas" has published his findings, saying producer Oisin Tymon suffered "swelling and bleeding to his lip" as a result of his altercation with Jeremy Clarkson.

Ken MacQuarrie, director of BBC Scotland, said he also endured "sustained" verbal abuse that "contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack him".

Read the investigation's findings.

Clarkson's change of status

@JeremyClarkson

Jeremy Clarkson has changed his

Twitter biography to say: "I used to be a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show, Top Gear."

Steve Hewlett on Clarkson decision

Speaking to the BBC, media commentator Steve Hewlett said there were "three issues at play" regarding the Jeremy Clarkson decision.

"Broadcast depends on talent, and it would appear there was a long-term failure on talent management," he said.

"Two: How on earth do you re-invent Top Gear? It's a special programme because of these three characters.

"Three: The BBC really doesn't want to appear anti-Jeremy Clarkson, they want to say it's a broad church.

"Jeremy Clarkson is a valuable part of the BBC's proposition. They won't be lost without him, but they won't be where they were without him either."

'A matter of acceptable conduct'

David Sillito, the BBC's media correspondent, has been exploring the background to the Top Gear row that led to the BBC's decision not to renew Jeremy Clarkson's contract.

Top Gear's propensity for causing offence is well known, he writes. In this instance, though, "the issues surrounding the 'fracas' with a producer have little to do with Top Gear's other controversies.

"This was not about crossing the boundaries of harm and offence with viewers," he goes on. "This was simply a matter of the limits of acceptable conduct at work."

Read the full article and
watch a report on Clarkson's Top Gear tenure.

More from Tony Hall

In a televised statement, Lord Hall paid tribute to Jeremy Clarkson "who, for nearly 25 years, has produced extraordinary work on Top Gear".

"We all know that Jeremy is a huge talent and has made an extraordinary contribution to the BBC.

"I've always been a great fan of his work on Top Gear and I also believe his voice and voices like his have a place, an important place, on the BBC... but not at any price."

Watch the full statement.

Oisin Tymon statement

The producer at the centre of the Top Gear "fracas" has issued his own statement about what he calls a "very regrettable incident".

"I've worked on Top Gear for almost a decade, a programme I love," said Oisin Tymon. "Over that time Jeremy and I had a positive and successful working relationship, making some landmark projects together.

"He is a unique talent and I am well aware that many will be sorry his involvement in the show should end in this way."

'Abuse of an extreme nature'

Confirmed details about the "fracas" involving presenter Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon have now emerged.

According to Tony Hall, Mr Tymon - described as "a completely innocent party" - "took himself to Accident and Emergency after a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature.

"I want to make clear that no blame attaches to him for this incident," said Lord Hall of Mr Tymon. "He has behaved with huge integrity throughout.

"As a senior producer at the BBC he will continue to have an important role within the organisation in the future."

'The Stig' reaction

Perry McCarthy,Top Gear's original 'Stig', told the BBC News Channel: "Like him or loathe him, people tune into Top Gear primarily for Jeremy Clarkson."

Clarkson, he went on, had "a lot more options" than the BBC. "Other broadcasters will be thinking, how can we get Jeremy Clarkson onto our screens?"

Top Gear's future

Lord Hall's statement concludes: "The BBC must now look to renew Top Gear for 2016. This will be a big challenge and there is no point in pretending otherwise."

Read the statement in full.

'A huge talent'

"This decision should in no way detract from the extraordinary contribution that Jeremy Clarkson has made to the BBC," Lord Hall continues. "I have always personally been a great fan of his work and Top Gear.

"Jeremy is a huge talent. He may be leaving the BBC but I am sure he will continue to entertain, challenge and amuse audiences for many years to come."

'A line has been crossed'

"We need distinctive and different voices but they cannot come at any price," Lord Hall's statement continues. "Common to all at the BBC have to be standards of decency and respect.

"For me a line has been crossed. There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations."

'With great regret'

In a statement, BBC director general Tony Hall said it was "with great regret" he had told Clarkson his contract was not being renewed and that it was not a decision he had taken lightly.

Read the full story.

BreakingBreaking News

Jeremy Clarkson's contract will not be renewed by the BBC, marking the end of his time as Top Gear presenter.

Curtains for Fantasticks

After more than 50 years and more than 20,000 performances, off-Broadway staple The Fantasticks will finally close in New York on 3 May.

The auspicious date marks the 55th anniversary of the show's original opening in 1960 - provided we politely gloss over its four-year hiatus between 2002 and 2006.

A mock version of Romeo and Juliet, the show concerns a young girl and boy who are secretly brought together by their fathers and features the timeless tune Try to Remember.

Glenn Close, F Murray Abraham and Kristin Chenoweth - currently treading the boards on Broadway in musical On the Twentieth Century (below) - are just a few of the many actors to have appeared in it over the years.

Kristin Chenoweth in On the Twentieth Century
AP

Colourful chrysalis

Serpentine pavilion
SelgasCano

This cocoon-like building will be taking shape in London's Hyde Park this summer.

The picture shows the design, by Spanish architects SelgasCano, for the Serpentine gallery's 15th annual pavilion.

The colourful building is described as "an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure consisting of panels of a translucent, multi-coloured fabric membrane woven through and wrapped in webbing".

Serpentine Galleries director Julia Peyton-Jones said: "In keeping with their reputation for playful designs and bold use of colour, SelgasCano's structure will be an extraordinary chrysalis-like structure, as organic as the surrounding gardens."

Visitors will be able to enter and exit the structure at a number of different points.

Walker walks again:

The Hollywood Reporter

Paul Walker in Fast & Furious 7
Universal Pictures

Paul Walker, star of the Fast and Furious films, died in 2013 after the car he was in crashed at a speed of more than 100mph in Los Angeles.

The tragedy came halfway through production on the seventh film in the franchise, leaving cast and crew with a terrible dilemma. Should they scrap the movie, or finish it in his honour?

In the end they chose the latter, using a combination of body doubles and CGI to finish Walker's scenes.

Peter Jackson's Weta took on the sensitive and arduous task of re-animating the star for Fast & Furious 7.

Find out how they did it.

Disputed Monet authenticated

A Haystack in the Evening Sun
Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation

An oil painting thought to have been created by Claude Monet has been proven to be genuine by researchers in Finland.

The artwork had not previously been authenticated because the artist's signature is covered by paint.

But thanks to a hyperspectral camera, researchers were able to "see" below the surface and reveal Monet's autograph and the date the painting was created.

Read more on this story..

New jacket

Here's the UK and Commonwealth cover for Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman - which is due to be published on 14 July.

Book jacket
William Heinemann

The book is the 88-year-old American author's first release since To Kill a Mockingbird was published in July 1960.

Go Set a Watchman was written before To Kill A Mockingbird, and features many of the same characters.

Whole Liotta love

Ray Liotta
Ed Sheeran

You may have seen Ed Sheeran perform his brooding new single Bloodstream at this year's Brits. Now he's released a video for the song - with a certain GoodFella attached.

Yes, that's Ray Liotta smashing a glass, trashing a mansion and riding a horse in his guise as an over-the-hill rock star turning to the bottle to drown his self-loathing. Well, that's our interpretation anyway.

Watch the full video.

Dublin your money

Dion Dublin
Getty Images

He's put them away for Manchester United, Coventry City, Aston Villa and Celtic. But there's more to former footballer Dion Dublin than playing or talking about the beautiful game.

In a startling transfer move, the 45-year-old has been added to the team of Homes Under the Hammer, BBC One's popular daytime show about properties up for auction.

"I have a passion for property and look forward to meeting people on the show who share that passion," said Dublin, whose other post-soccer activities include promoting a six-sided percussion instrument he's invented called

the Dube.

We have no doubt the lad will give 110 percent.

Loose books

Loose Women
ITV

Watch out, Richard and Judy - ITV's Loose Women is also launching a book club.

Loose Books will feature a different panellist selecting their favourite book every month.

The first book up for discussion - on 20 April - is Paula Hawkins' psychological thriller The Girl on The Train, chosen by Coleen Nolan.

Picasso style

Les femmes d'Alger (Version "O") by Pablo Picasso
Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society

A Picasso painting estimated to fetch around $140m (£94m) is among the star lots coming up at Christie's in New York.

Les femmes d'Alger (Version "O") is from Picasso's 1954-55 series, in which he looked back to 19th Century French master Eugene Delacroix for inspiration.

The oil on canvas leads the Looking Forward to the Past auction on 11 May, which includes the work of 20th Century artists who were "heavily influenced" by their predecessors.

Money for funny

Broken Lizard members Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Jay Chandrasekhar
Getty Images

"

Patchy, "
inconsequential" and "
decidedly lowbrow" were some of the kinder descriptors the critics gave to Super Troopers, a 2002 film about incompetent patrolmen from Canadian comedy outfit Broken Lizard (pictured).

Thirteen years on, though, the film has apparently accrued enough of a cult following for the team to produce a sequel - provided they can persuade their fans to cough up some capital.

The troupe have launched

a crowd-funding campaign to finance the sequel and are asking for a minimum of $2m (£1.34m) to get it produced.

If the target is met, shooting will begin this summer.

Hamm confirms rehab stay

Jon Hamm
AFP

Jon Hamm's publicist has confirmed the Mad Men star recently completed treatment for alcohol addiction following reports he spent 30 days at a Connecticut hospital.

The actor and his partner, Jennifer Westfeldt, "have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward", his representative said.

Read the full story. You can also
watch a report on a Mad Men exhibition currently running in New York.

Hug it out

The cast of Entourage
Film company

The latest trailer for the eagerly awaited Entourage film has dropped on the net, and we'd be lying if it hasn't got us excited.

For the uninitiated, the film is a continuation of the hugely popular HBO comedy that followed the fortunes of a hot young movie star and the posse of pals who tag along when he relocates to Hollywood.

Vincent (Adrian Grenier), 'E' (Kevin Connolly), 'Drama' (Kevin Dillon) and 'Turtle' (Jerry Ferrara) are all returning, as is Vince's fearsome agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven).

There's also an eye-catching assortment of guest stars, among the Liam Neeson, DJ Calvin Harris, Star Trek's George Takei and Mark Wahlberg, the man who inspired the show in the first place.

Watch the full trailer.

Mangan on stage

Stephen Mangan in Rules for Living
Simon Annand

The aforementioned Stephen Mangan was on stage at the National Theatre last night, playing a feckless husband enduring the family Christmas from hell in Rules for Living.

Written by (female) playwright Sam Holcroft, it's an Alan Ayckbourn-style comedy of manners with a game show-flavoured twist - giant, Family Fortunes-style display boards on two sides of the auditorium that tell us how its characters will behave in particular situations.

The show ends with a spectacular coup de theatre it would be a shame to reveal here. Suffice to say that the stage managers are the true heroes at the end of each performance in the newly configured Dorfman theatre.

Catherine Tate and Sherlock actor Andrew Scott were among a first night audience on Tuesday that also included the National's new artistic director, Rufus Norris.

Read what Quentin Letts had to say about the production in the Daily Mail. Be warned, though: his review does contain spoilers.