Belfast Top Gear Live shows ‘will go ahead’

The Top Gear Live show is due to come to Belfast for the first time in May
The Top Gear Live show is due to come to Belfast for the first time in May

Organisers of Top Gear Live’s first ever Belfast event – at the Odyssey arena in May – say it is going ahead, despite questions over presenter Jeremy Clarkson’s future.

The 54-year-old has been suspended since it emerged he was involved in what the BBC called “a fracas” with one of the show’s producers.

The Top Gear Live show will embark on its first ever UK-wide arena tour with the three presenters set to perform their latest stunts.

The News Letter asked promoter Live Nation whether Clarkson’s BBC woes could impact on his appearance at the event in May – or threaten the event itself.

A spokeswoman for Live Nation replied: “I can confirm that the UK tour will go ahead as planned.”

Asked what happens if Clarkson is sacked, she declined to offer any further comment.

The News Letter put it to the BBC that many fans in Belfast would be concerned the event could be cancelled if the BBC lets Clarkson go.

A BBC spokesman replied: “At present, the forthcoming shows are set to run as scheduled, including Belfast.”

The News Letter asked if the event was independent of the BBC (the BBC logo appears on promotional posters), and if Clarkson would still appear if he loses his BBC job.

The BBC spokesman replied “no comment on the ‘if he loses his job’ question”.

He added: “The event is run by Brand Events, who are licensed to do so by BBC Worldwide (BBC Worldwide is the commercial arm of the BBC).”

Brand Events did not offer any comment on the questions put to it.

The Odyssey can accommodate 9,000 to 10,000 people for events. It said tickets for the event on May 22, 23, and 24 are still selling, but could not say how many have gone already.