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Jeremy Clarkson 'So Sorry' After His Last Top Gear

Jeremy Clarkson said he was "so sad and sorry it's ended like this" after the final episode of Top Gear hosted by the current presenting team was screened.

The 75-minute special was compiled from footage shot before Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond left the show.

The BBC Two show made no reference to their departure, nor the circumstances.

Closing the show, May said: "Thank you very much for watching and, well, goodbye." Hammond also said goodbye and the credits then rolled in silence.

After the episode ended, Clarkson tweeted: "Many many thanks for all your support and encouragement over the years. So sad and sorry it's ended like this."

Hammond tweeted: "Can't believe that one life has room to accommodate the first and the last steps of that incredible adventure. Thanks for your company."

'I hate working on Top Gear'

The episode was a swansong for Clarkson - who was sacked for punching a producer - as well as May and Hammond, who both turned down the opportunity to return to the series.

It featured two separate films, both completed before the incident that led to Clarkson's departure. The presenter recorded a new voiceover for the show, for which he was not paid. Hammond and May filmed new links, but without the traditional Top Gear studio audience.

May welcomed viewers by saying: "Hello, and welcome to what's left of Top Gear."

Behind him was the "elephant in the room", a 10ft plastic replica elephant which the show's makers borrowed from a Hull design company. It was called Jeremy.

The special is predicted to become the highest-rated episode in Top Gear history, beating the audience of 8.35 million who tuned in to see Lewis Hamilton's appearance in December 2007.

But Clarkson appeared to downplay its significance ahead of the broadcast.

Writing in his column in The Sun, the presenter said: "BBC Two is screening an edition of Top Gear cobbled together from two films that were made before I was fired.

"One of them is quite good."

Executive producer Andy Wilman said the compilation was "very sad, absolutely awful to make".

"The films are good but they were never designed to carry this burden of being the last thing you'll ever see from us on Top Gear," Wilman told the Guardian.

"What's quite poignant for me is they are not the most ambitious films we have ever done but by accident they happen to be very strong on camaraderie."

'One hell of a ride'

Three episodes of the smash hit motoring show were left unfinished when Clarkson was suspended in March.

Of the two completed segments, one saw the presenters take a road trip across Britain in a trio of classic cars: A Fiat 124 Spider, an MGB GT and a Peugeot 304 Cabriolet.

The second instructed the team to purchase an SUV on a £250 budget, before setting off on a series of action-packed challenges.

During the latter, Clarkson was seen stranded in a river, declaring: "I hate working on Top Gear."

Following Sunday's episode, the old Top Gear team, including Wilman, are expected to take their talents to a rival broadcaster, or even Netflix.

In The Sun, Clarkson noted: "I won't miss making a car show - because other broadcasters are available so I don't have to stop doing that."

Chris Evans will take over the BBC brand, and has launched an open audition for new presenting talent - including possible co-hosts - ahead of the show's relaunch next year.

Source: BBC

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