British television presenter Jeremy Clarkson in Sydney, Australia on February 10, 2010.
'Top Gear' star suspended for 'fracas'
02:41 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Presenter was involved in an encounter with a BBC producer

'Top Gear' was due to air this Sunday, episode pulled from schedule

CNN  — 

The BBC said Clarkson, one of the corporation’s highest earners, had “a fracas with a BBC producer” in a statement released yesterday.

“Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended pending an investigation,” they said. “No one else has been suspended. Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday.” The BBC reported that the next two episodes, and possibly the third and final show of the series, will not be aired.

Fans of the presenter expressed dismay at the decision. At the time of writing, more than 300,000 people have signed a petition seeking his reinstatement.

Using the hashtag #BringBackClarkson, which is trending worldwide, some Twitter users lamented that the show would not be the same without him.

Clarkson himself also took to Twitter, posting an apology (of sorts) to Labour leader Ed Miliband – for knocking him down the news agenda.

“Save Clarkson?” his co-host James May tweeted. “Save empty cardboard boxes and off-cuts of string. They’re far more useful.”

But a “Sack Jeremy Clarkson” petition is also doing the rounds, gathering 2,814 signatures so far. Some will be glad to see the back of him.

Controversial comments

This is not the first time that Clarkson has been at the center of controversy.

In May last year, the television presenter asked forgiveness after using a racist term during a taping of the show.

Clarkson had mumbled the n-word while reciting a children’s nursery rhyme, but that version of the take was never aired.

Last year, the BBC show hit the headlines when Argentina complained about a “Top Gear” special filmed in the country in which the number plate H982 FKL was used – interpreted by some as a reference to the 1982 Falklands War.

Forced to stop filming and leave the country, Clarkson said on the BBC Newsbeat website that the use of the plate was purely coincidental.

In a previous article on their website, the BBC said “Jeremy Clarkson is not a man given to considered opinion.”

In their statement, the corporation declined to comment any further.

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