Story highlights

Presenter was involved in an encounter with a BBC producer

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

London CNN  — 

Clarkson was suspended for allegedly hitting a producer, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

The BBC has suspended Jeremy Clarkson, the host of car show “Top Gear,” following “a fracas with a BBC producer,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

“Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended pending an investigation,” they said. “No one else has been suspended. Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday.”

READ: CNNMoney: 5 impressive stats about Top Gear

Fans of the presenter expressed dismay at the decision. At the time of writing, more than 147,000 people had signed a petition seeking his reinstatement.

Using the hashtag #BringBackClarkson, 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.”

Former CNN host Piers Morgan, who has had a series of run-ins with the presenter, also waded in with a cheeky jibe.

Controversial comments

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

In May this 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.

Top Gear was named as the world’s most widely watched factual program in the Guinness World Record 2013 Edition book, with an estimated 350 million global viewers. The show is sold to 214 territories worldwide.

03:47 - Source: CNN
Former host: 'Top Gear' will go on without Clarkson

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.