CONTROVERSIAL, BUT ADMIRED: Jeremey Clarkson has a huge following despite repeated transgressions. Image: AP / Matt Dunham
LONDON, England - Britain's Jeremy Clarkson will continue to appear on an international tour of live auto shows despite being dropped as the presenter of hit series "Top Gear", the BBC says.
The stage shows with Clarkson and his former "Top Gear" co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May were planned before Clarkson was dropped for hitting a producer.
Under an agreement between BBC Worldwide and its partner Brand Events, the tour can continue but without the BBC and "Top Gear" labels, under the name "Clarkson, Hammond and May Live".
A BBC Worldwide spokesperson said the shows would go ahead "so as not to disappoint the thousands of people around the world who have already bought tickets."
"These events will not however feature any BBC Top Gear branding or content. We believe this is a sensible approach in the circumstances," the spokesperson said.
Clarkson was dropped from the highly lucrative "Top Gear" after attacking producer Oisin Tymon in a dispute over a lack of hot food at the end of a day of filming.
The remaining episodes of the series were cancelled and "Top Gear Live" tour dates were cancelled.
JOZI OVER JUNE 12-14
The first live show will take place in Belfast on May 22, though the shows will not be able to use any "Top Gear" clips or feature characters from the show such as The Stig.
The Top Gear Live Show will still take place at the Dome in Johannesburg on June 12-14, even though it’s under a new banner of "Clarkson, Hammond and May Live".
Tour dates that were cancelled in Norway will be rescheduled for June 20-21, and shows planned for April in Sydney will be held in Melbourne on July 18-19 and Sydney on July 25-26.