UK

Top Gear Live shows postponed - BBC

Jeremy Clarkson at a Top Gear Live show Image copyright EPA
Image caption At present other Top Gear live dates will run as scheduled, the BBC said

Top Gear Live shows due to have been held in Norway next week have been postponed, the BBC has said.

All four performances will be rescheduled, with dates later this year to be confirmed within the next fortnight.

The announcement comes as an investigation continues into Jeremy Clarkson's suspension following a "fracas" with a producer on the show.

At present, all other Top Gear Live dates will run as scheduled.

The BBC said it apologised for the inconvenience and would "endeavour to contact all ticket holders directly to inform them of the change of dates".

The Top Gear host was suspended on 10 March following an alleged altercation with producer Oisin Tymon.

A report over the incident is due to be handed to BBC director general Tony Hall this week. He will consider the evidence before a decision on "any further steps" is taken, the BBC had said last week.

It is understood the postponement of the Norway shows has been announced because organisers wanted to give fans enough notice to cancel travel and accommodation plans and because work to prepare the venue would have needed to start well in advance of the shows.

The four performances were due to take place on Friday 27 March and Saturday 28 March.

Meanwhile, Clarkson has said comments criticising the BBC he made at a charity event in London were meant as a joke.

The presenter gave an expletive-filled description of the corporation's bosses at the event on Thursday.

An online petition for the Top Gear host to be reinstated has to date received more than one million signatures.

Global audience

Top Gear is one of the BBC's most popular and profitable TV shows, with an estimated global audience of 350 million.

Its success is largely attributed to Clarkson, who has appeared on the show since 1988.

Last May the presenter was given what he called his "final warning" by bosses at the BBC after claims he used a racist word during filming.

He and his co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond had been due to renegotiate their contracts with the BBC next month.

The group have separate contracts to promote Top Gear across the world with the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, which are reported to expire in September.

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