Two days before assaulting a BBC producer, Jeremy Clarkson was told by a doctor that he might have cancer.
Speaking for the first time in detail about the incident that resulted in his sacking from the Top Gear show, Mr Clarkson said being given the warning was one of the most stressful experiences of his life.
In an attempt to explain his state of mind at the time of the attack, he said: 'Two days before the "fracas", I had 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.'
Clarkson said he had now been given the all-clear, but added: 'That was the most stressful day I have ever had in 27 years at the BBC.
'It was beyond-belief stressful, everything was gong wrong, and then you know... there you go. But everyone has stressful days, and they manage to cope better than I had.'
Clarkson was sacked by the Corporation after an 'unprovoked physical and verbal' attack that left his victim, Oisin Tymon, in need of hospital treatment.
The presenter said the show about cars had come to dominate his life after his divorce and the death of his mother, and he worried about every aspect of the programme.
He said: 'I woke every morning worrying about every single line.
'And I went to bed at night worrying that the changes I'd made during the day were wrong.
'Friends would talk to me when we were out and, though I could see their lips moving, I couldn't hear what they were saying.'
He said in a Sunday newspaper: 'I felt sick because after I'd lost my home and my mother, I'd thrown myself even more vigorously into my job and now, idiotically, I'd managed to lose that too.'
He added that he expected to present another television show about cars in the future.
- Daily Mail