After Jeremy Clarkson's blowup that cost him his contract as Top Gear host and put the remainder of Season 22 on hold, one of the first things BBC officials promised was that the show would return. Now, the broadcast company is confirming that claim, vowing to air the rest of season 22, and bring back a revamped version of the show next year.
, the BBC official tasked with finding Clarkson's replacement. Shillinglaw confirmed that the un-aired episodes would appear on BBC2 as early as this summer, and at the latest by the end of 2015, The Guardian reports.
"Top Gear is a show that I love, I genuinely watch it and I always have done," Shillinglaw said. "There is no way I would not want the available material [...] to be seen by viewers."
The unseen footage will require some creative editing, since there is not enough footage to make three full hour-long episodes. Clarkson's suspension prevented the Top Gear crew from filming the live, in-studio portions of the remaining three episodes.
Shillinglaw also emphasized a nuanced point of Clarkson's status with the BBC—one we reported during the unfolding of the "fracas," but which may not have been widely noticed during the frenzy: Clarkson has not been barred from returning to the BBC.
"It is serious and unfortunate what happened but there is no ban on Jeremy being on the BBC," Shillinglaw said. "It's a big deal what happened and Jeremy, as any human being would, needs some time out."
See, Clarkson was suspended from filming during the investigation into his assault on producer Oisin Tymon, and his contract, which was set to expire at the end of Season 22, was not renewed. But that doesn't prevent Clarkson from appearing on the BBC in the future—assuming Clarkson's anger with the BBC has died down and he hasn't .
For his part, (subscription required) to explain what was going on in his world leading up to his assault on Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon. , the column lays out the rocky month Clarkson had leading up to the incident, his "most stressful day [...] in 27 years at the BBC." His mother had passed away, his marriage was falling apart, and he'd gotten dire news from his physician:
Two days before the "fracas," I'd been told, sternly, by my doctor that the lump on my tongue was probably cancer and that I must get it checked out immediately. But I couldn't do that. We were in the middle of a Top Gear series. And Top Gear always came first.
Fortunately, Clarkson's cancer scare . We still don't know what will happen with Clarkson—or Hammond and May, both of whom are at least finding creative outlets for their boredom.
So, to recap: The rest of Top Gear Season 22 will air at some point; Season 23 will be produced but will probably look vastly different; and James May is actually a pretty decent cook.