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UK police investigate death threat against BBC chief

LONDON: Police in Britain said on Sunday they were investigating a death threat against Tony Hall, the director general of the BBC, made on the day he dropped celebrity TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson from the “Top Gear” motoring show.

Hall’s decision not to renew Clarkson’s contract because of what the BBC said was Clarkson’s unprovoked physical and verbal attack on his producer, generated global headlines and angered many of Clarkson’s fans.

Top Gear, which is aired in more than 200 countries, is one of the BBC’s biggest money spinners with sales worth some 50 million pounds ($74 million) a year, and Clarkson’s strongly worded views inspire admiration and loathing in equal measure.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement it was looking into “an allegation of threats to kill,” against Hall which was reported on March 25, the day Hall announced Clarkson would not return to the show.

“The threat was made by email,” the police said. “Enquiries continue to establish from where the email was sent, although the content of the message suggests from outside the UK.”

No arrests had been made, it said. The police did not say if there was a connection between the death threats and the Clarkson case.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper published photographs which it said showed Hall, 64, and his wife had been placed under round-the-clock protection at their home by a team of elite bodyguards in response to the death threat.

The paper said the BBC had deemed the threat against Hall “credible.” When asked about the report, the BBC told Reuters it wouldn’t comment on security matters. – Reuters

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