Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended by the BBC “following a fracas with a BBC producer” the media giant said in a short statement. The period of his suspension is unclear and the 54-year-old’s future may rest on the result of an internal investigation.
This weekend’s episode of Top Gear will not be broadcast and the Radio Times has declared the remaining three episodes of Series 22 will not go to air.
The Guardian reports, “the incident involved Clarkson throwing a punch at a male producer while filming in Surrey last week.”
Clarkson and controversy have been unhappy bedfellows throughout his career and it’s just under a year ago that he was given a final warning by the BBC after it was alleged he used the term “nigger” off air.
More after the break.
Top Gear controversies
With Clarkson at its head, Top Gear has been no stranger to controversy.
- October 2014 – The show’s stars and crew had to abandon filming in Argentina amid angry protests over a car number plate that appears to refer to the Falklands War.
- July 2014 – Ofcom ruled a Burma Special in which Jeremy Clarkson used a racial slur broke broadcasting rules. Clarkson had used the word “slope” as an Asian man crossed a newly built bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand.
- May 2014 – The programme drew complaints when video footage leaked to the Daily Mirror appeared to show Jeremy Clarkson using a racist term while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe. The presenter later apologised for the incident – which was never broadcast – in a video statement where he “begged forgiveness”.
- October 2012 – The BBC Trust ruled comments by Clarkson which likened the design of a camper van to people with facial disfigurements breached disability guidelines.
- January 2012 – Indian diplomats complained about a 90-minute India special in which a car fitted with a toilet in its boot is described by Clarkson as “perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots.”
- February 2011 – The BBC apologised to Mexico after Clarkson and his co-hosts characterised Mexicans as “lazy” and “feckless”.