The future of Top Gear may be in even more jeopardy now than it was under Clarkson's tenure, and the former head of the BBC thinks it was a huge mistake to let him go (despite the fact that he decked someone).

Mark Thompson was speaking out about the show and the trouble it's been in since March of last year when Clarkson was fired for punching producer Oisin Tymon, and James May and Richard Hammond quit in solidarity.

"Clarkson can be a deeply objectionable individual, and I say that as a friend. I don’t think people should punch their colleagues. It’s hard to keep them if they do," Thompson, now CEO of the New York Times, told Britain’s Sunday Times Magazine this weekend.

"But I would say his pungent, transgressive, slightly out-of-control talent was something the BBC could ill afford to lose," he continued. "He spoke to people who didn’t find much else in the BBC."

Thompson also stated that Chris Evans, who has since departed the show, did himself no favours by attempting to 'impersonate' Clarkson in his short run as host. With his departure last month, and some shakey statements from co-host Matt LeBlanc about his future on the show, who knows what will become of the BBC staple.

Meanwhile, the old trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May are still on track to launch their new venture, 'The Grand Tour', on Amazon Prime this autumn.

Via The Times