LONDON – British police are investigating a death threat made to the head of the BBC after the broadcaster fired “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson over an assault on a colleague.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper ran photos of security guards outside the home of director-general Tony Hall.

The Metropolitan Police said detectives were “investigating an allegation of threats to kill” made in an email. No one has been arrested.

The force did not name Hall but offered the statement when asked about him.

The BBC said it wouldn’t comment on security matters, but carried the story in its news bulletins.

The broadcaster announced Wednesday that it wouldn’t renew Clarkson’s contract for “Top Gear,” one of the network’s most popular shows. It said Clarkson had subjected producer Oisin Tymon to a verbal tirade before hitting him.


When Clarkson was suspended after the incident, fans clamored for his return, signing a petition which was delivered to the BBC in a tank. Prime Minister David Cameron called Clarkson a friend and a “huge talent.”

Clarkson has often landed in trouble for remarks targeting – among others – Mexicans, cyclists and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. For fans, Clarkson’s defiance of what is seen as political correctness is part of his appeal.

But Hall said Clarkson’s behavior had crossed a line.

“There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations,” Hall said Wednesday.

The Guinness Book of World Records has described “Top Gear” as the world’s most widely watched factual program. It broadcasts to 214 territories worldwide and has an estimated global audience of 350 million.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.