Clarkson, who took the reins of the BBC series in 1988, was taken off air earlier this month (Mar15) after he was embroiled in a bust-up with producer Oisin Tymon over catering arrangements.

The final three episodes of the current series of Top Gear were axed, and following an investigation, BBC Director-General Tony Hall announced on Wednesday (25Mar15) that Clarkson's contract with the corporation will not be renewed.

He says, "It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract... I cannot condone what has happened on this occasion. A member of staff - who is a completely innocent party - took himself to (hospital) after a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature. For me a line has been crossed... This decision should in no way detract from the extraordinary contribution that Jeremy Clarkson has made to the BBC. 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."

After Clarkson was suspended, an online petition calling for his reinstatement garnered more than a million signatures and Crowe was among the stars who threw their support behind the beleaguered presenter, telling BBC Breakfast on Wednesday, "That show is about Jeremy Clarkson. It's about his sensibility... I'm in many countries around the world where all I can see in English is Top Gear... Jeremy does have a bit of a reputation but that's part of his charm and his beauty."

Snoop Dogg urged fans around the world to boycott the show, insisting, "(Clarkson) isn't part of Top Gear - he is Top Gear... (Everyone) needs to boycott the BBC until he is reinstated."

Following the sacking news, Donny Osmond reacted on, writing, "My son Joshua and I are saddened because @JeremyClarkson isn't returning to @BBC_TopGear. We love that show," while Star Trek icon William Shatner added, "Clarkson will be fine. Sponsors would be silly not to pick him up and establish a competitor show and the viewers will probably follow him."

Hall announced BBC bosses would be considering renewing Top Gear for next year (16), but Clarkson's co-star James May has told Sky News he and Richard Hammond may not return without their pal.

He says, "I'm sure Top Gear will continue in some way... I think we're very much the three of us as a package, it works for very complicated reasons that a lot of people don't fully understand... As much as I think he's k**b, I quite like working with Jeremy."

Clarkson had yet to comment on the sacking news as WENN went to press, but he updated his biography to read, "I used to be a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show, Top Gear," as the news became a trending topic on the microblogging site.

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