The rumor spread after Clarkson contradicted a BBC announcer's claim that a Top Gear "summer special" was in the works and that the show would return in the fall. Clarkson turned the rumor mill's key when he said in his column, "After last week's Top Gear, the continuity announcer said the show would be back in the summer. Can I just say, here and now, it won't be."
Most are now assuming that Clarkson is simply claiming that there won't be a summer special for the show, but that it will return, with Clarkson in tow, next fall.
Thanks for the tips, all!