Top Gear: 300,000 sign petition supporting Jeremy Clarkson

Top Gear: 300,000 sign petition supporting Jeremy Clarkson

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An online petition calling for the BBC to “reinstate” Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has been signed by more than 300,000 people.Clarkson, 54, was suspended after a “fracas” with a BBC producer thought to work on the show. Sunday’s episode of Top Gear will not be shown, and it is understood the two final episodes in the series will also be dropped.The petition was started on Tuesday by political blogger Guido Fawkes.It reached the 250,000 mark by mid-morning on Wednesday.At around the same time, Clarkson’s retweeted a message to his 4.5m Twitter followers from a Top Gear viewer which read: “How can BBC not show the remaining episodes of Top Gear, can’t this be resolved without making the fans suffer?”Earlier, he exchanged suggestions on Twitter with Top Gear co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May about films that could be aired in place of the Sunday’s planned episode.BBC News special correspondent Lucy Manning said sources had confirmed reports Clarkson was suspended for “allegedly hitting a producer”.”The incident is believed to have happened last week, but was reported to the BBC on Monday and dealt with on Tuesday,” she said.”The next two episodes of Top Gear will not be broadcast and it’s understood that a third programme, the final of the series, is unlikely to be transmitted.”The Daily Mirror has named the producer involved in the alleged incident, which it said took place after filming in Newcastle over a lack of catering. The BBC said it had no comment to make on the report.Clarkson’s suspension was announced in a BBC statement on Tuesday afternoon which said: “Following a fracas with a BBC producer, Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended pending an investigation.
“No one else has been suspended. Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday. The BBC will be making no further comment at this time.”Perry McCarthy, the original Top Gear’s stunt driver ‘The Stig’, said he thought the BBC had taken the show off the air too quickly. “Why take the show off air while they look into it? I just think it’s a complete overreaction.”The Sun newspaper, in which Clarkson writes a regular column, quotes him as saying: “I’m having a nice cold pint and waiting for this to blow over.” It also quotes a “source close to the star” denying Clarkson punched anyone.Clarkson and his co-presenters are scheduled to appear in four Top Gear Live stadium shows in Norway at the end of this month. BBC Worldwide confirmed tickets are still on sale.Other shows are due to take place in Sydney, Australia, in April, as well as several dates in the UK.Top Gear is one of the BBC’s most popular and profitable TV shows, with Jeremy Clarkson appearing on it since 1988. The programme has an estimated global audience of 350 million.PR consultant Mark Borkowski has said the BBC faces “a difficult decision”.He told 5 live’s Wake Up to Money that Clarkson’s tweets suggested he “doesn’t seem to be worried”.He added: “A lot of TV executives around the world are looking at this fracas thinking ‘would we like to get our hands on Jeremy Clarkson?'”Clarkson was given what he called his “final warning” last May after claims he used a racist word during filming.Footage leaked to the Daily Mirror appeared to show Clarkson using a racist term while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe. He later apologised for the incident, which was never broadcast.The show’s executive producer, Andy Wilman, described last year as an “annus horribilis” for the programme.

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