As Jeremy Clarkson’s fate is set to be decided by the BBC this week, we look back on the greatest controversies in Top Gear’s history.
2003 – Clarkson upsets parish council
Jeremy Clarkson drives a pick-up into a horse chestnut tree in a car park in Somerset to test the strength of a Toyota. The BBC apologises to the parish council.
November 2008 - Clarkson jokes about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes
Clarkson makes a joke during an episode about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes, which attracts more than 1,000 complaints to the BBC.
January 2011 – Richard Hammond jokes all Mexicans are “lazy and feckless”
Jokes made during the show about Mexicans, which include them being branded “lazy”, “feckless” and “flatulent”, spark controversy and prompt an apology from the BBC to the Mexican ambassador.
February 2012 – Clarkson compares car to people with “growths on their faces”
He is later found to have breached BBC guidelines.
May 2014 – Clarkson “used the n-word”
July 2014 – Clarkson reprimanded for using the offensive term “slope”
Top Gear is ruled to have breached broadcasting rules after Clarkson used the word “slope” to describe an Asian man.
October 2014 – Top Gear ignites diplomatic war with Argentina over 'Falklands number plates'
March 10, 2015 - Clarkson suspended after on-set “fracas”
The BBC suspends Clarkson “following a fracas” with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon at the Simonstone Hall Hotel near Hawes, North Yorkshire after a day filming.
An investigation is launched and all three remaining episodes of the series are postponed.
Things you never knew about Top Gear
Things you never knew about Top Gear
1/14 Top Gear isn't really for adults
It's 'aimed at people with a mental age of nine', according to executive producer Andy Wilman.
2/14 Planet Earth loves it...
Top Gear is screened in more than 100 countries worldwide and has millions of fans.
3/14 ...but not all motoring hacks do
You might think Jezza was a hero of the motoring hack world but that's not strictly accurate. Telegraph journalist Neil Lyndon summed Top Gear's 21st birthday last year up well: 'Does that mean Billy Bunter and his gang finally get forced out of the Fourth Remove and into long trousers?'
4/14 The Top Gear theme tune is a classic rock song
Seven-minute instrumental 'Jessica' by The Allman Brothers was a hit in 1973. Top Gear has recorded its own version now but used part of the original recording at first. One for the road trip playlist.
5/14 Jeremy Clarkson couldn't get much more controversial if he tried
The presenter is currently suspended from the BBC following a 'fracas' with a producer over a steak dinner. Past scandals include a string of racism allegations.
6/14 This Porsche caused all sorts of trouble in Argentina
The Top Gear team were forced to flee Argentina after locals took offence at the car's number plate - believing it was a deliberately provocative reference to the Falklands War of 1982.
7/14 If it's car-buying advice you want, look elsewhere
It's an in-joke in Top Gear that they don't do car tests. You would be mad to make a purchases based on Jezza's verdict.
8/14 Richard Hammond had a near-death experience filming Top Gear
The 'Hamster' was filming a Top Gear segment in a dragster called Vampire when its front-right tyre burst at 288mph. Hammond spent two weeks in a coma but luckily went on to make a full recovery. He requested that no mention of the crash was made in future Top Gear episodes.
9/14 Jeremy Clarkson is more than a little bit taller than Richard Hammond
Nine inches, to be precise.
10/14 Top Gear used to offer real advice
Before these lads took over, it was a real car-reviewing show with presenters such as Angela Rippon, who gave practical reviews of down-to-earth workhorses such as Cavaliers or Mini Metros.
11/14 Those 'reasonably priced' cars take quite a battering
Denis Chick, of Vauxhall, is brave to have lent the show a fleet of his Astras. He said: "Vauxhall Astra sales would not improve if everyone drove like Jimmy Carr around the Dunsfold track." The comedian hilariously took his test car's front off-side tyre clean off its rim.
12/14 Jeremy Clarkson is a YouTube star
Stray down the motoring internet hole and you'll find lovingly posted videos of 'Clarkson the early years' with incredibly loud hair reviewing 1990s cars in an oddly sensible manner. Very disturbing viewing.
13/14 There have been multiple Stigs
Racing driver Perry McCarthy was stuntsman The Stig on the first two series of Top Gear - here's the man under that famous helmet.
14/14 Ben Collins was The Stig for eight years
Ben Collins was The Stig on Top Gear for eight years. He left amid a clash with the BBC when he unmasked his identity and published an autobiography. Collins thinks Top Gear has 'lost some of its sparkle'.