BBC director general Tony Hall has allegedly received death threats following the BBC’s decision not to renew Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson’s contract. According to the BBC, the Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation into a threatening email that was apparently sent from outside of the U.K. The Daily Mail also reported that Hall and his wife, Cynthia, are being guarded by security around the clock.
Hall announced last week that following a “fracas” with producer Oisin Tymon, during which Tymon sustained swelling and a bloodied lip, Clarkson would not be returning to the hit series. Clarkson was suspended earlier this month as the BBC launched a full investigation into the scuffle. Hall referred to Clarkson as a “huge talent” and said he made an “extraordinary contribution” to the BBC, adding that in the end, the decision to let Clarkso go was not one he made lightly.
“It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have done so only after a very careful consideration of the facts and after personally meeting both Jeremy and Oisin Tymon,” Hall said in a statement. “I know how popular the programme is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion. The main facts are not disputed by those involved.”
According to The Guardian, Tymon faced abuse on social media following the announcement, with Twitter users using the hashags #boycottBBC, #BringBackClarkson, and #OisinTymon.
More than a million fans petitioned the BBC in an attempt to get Clarkson back on the air after the initial suspension, citing “freedom to fracas.”