The BBC has apologised to viewers who have complained about Top Gear episodes being postponed following Jeremy Clarkson’s suspension.
The future of the motoring show, co-presented by Richard Hammond and James May, remains in purgatory as Clarkson and the corporation await the results of an investigation into an alleged “fracas” between the presenter and producer Oisin Tymon.
Clarkson, who denies that he threw a punch at Oisin in a row reportedly about a lack of hot food after a day’s filming, has not apologised to fans for the incident.
He is also said to be "intensely relaxed" about the inquiry and is reported to be considering leaving the BBC even if cleared.
The presenter has, however, thanked his supporters – more than 800,000 of whom have signed a petition calling for his reinstatement, and who include Prime Minister David Cameron – telling BBC News: “I am very grateful to everybody.”
The remaining three episodes of the current series of Top Gear have been postponed indefinitely and filming has been suspended.
Jeremy Clarkson's Top 25 Most Obnoxious Lines
Jeremy Clarkson's Top 25 Most Obnoxious Lines
1/24 "Short people. When you've finished using a car, put the f**king seat back, so humans can use it afterwards," he posted on Twitter. Offensively.
2/24 "Honestly, the burka doesn’t work. I was in a cab in Piccadilly the other day when a woman in a full burka crossing the road in front of me tripped over the pavement, went head over heels and up it came, red G-string and stockings."
3/24 Driving a Jaguar round a toilet in India: "This is perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots."
4/24 "The only person who looked good in a 4-seated convertible was Adolf Hitler."
5/24 As a Thai man walked over a bridge he had built during a Top Gear challenge: "That is a proud moment - but there’s a slope on it."
Jeremy Clarkson is involved in further controversy over a second set of number plates found in the vehicle he was driving in Argentina
6/24 On the Renault Clio V6 handling bends: "In typical French fashion it just gives up! A bit like the French did with the Germans."
7/24 "I'm thinking. If you had gone to the trouble of making a chemical bomb, why would you detonate it on a coach from Preston?"
8/24 On public sector workers in 2011: “I’d have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.”
9/24 "I don't understand bus lanes. Why do poor people have to get to places quicker than I do?"
10/24 "The only reason the Arabs and Jews have managed to keep their nasty little war going for 50 years is because it never bloody rains there. If the post-war powers had put Israel in Manchester, there'd have been no bloodshed."
11/24 "If all the creatures on earth were the same size, it's said a lobster would have the smallest brain. But then someone invented Wayne Rooney."
12/24 On the invention of the segway: "They're made in America, of course, so fat Yanks can go to the fridge without expending any energy."
13/24 "Supercars are supposed to run over Arthur Scargill and then run over him again for good measure. They are designed to melt ice caps, kill the poor, poison the water table, destroy the ozone layer, decimate indigenous wildlife, recapture the Falkland Islands and turn the entire third world into a huge uninhabitable desert, all that before they nicked all the oil in the world."
14/24 "I’m sorry, but having an Aston Martin DB9 on the drive and not driving it is a bit like having Keira Knightley in your bed and sleeping on the couch. If you’ve got even half a scrotum it’s not going to happen."
15/24 On a caravaning holiday: “You aren’t allowed to have a party, you aren’t allowed to have music, you aren’t allowed to play ball games, you aren’t allowed to have a camp fire, you have to park within two feet of a post, you have to keep quiet, you have to be in bed by eleven. This is not a holiday, it’s a concentration camp!”
16/24 "Britain’s nuclear submarines have been deemed unsafe… probably because they don’t have wheel-chair access."
17/24 “If we are being honest HIV is a pathetic virus, it can only live in the air for 6 seconds and it does what ebola does to you in 10 days in 10 years.”
18/24 On the Lotus Elise: “This car is more fun than the entire french air force crashing into a firework factory.”
19/24 On actress Sarah Jessica Parker: “People think ‘oh she must be pretty’. She isn’t – she looks like a boiled horse."
20/24 On the BMW Z3: "And if you are clinically insane, by which I mean you wake up in the morning and think you are an onion, here’s your car."
21/24 On the Ferrari 430 Scuderia: “It’s like God having really unusual sex… it should come with toilet roll.”
22/24 "The problem is that television executives have got it into their heads that if one presenter on a show is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed heterosexual boy, the other must be a black Muslim lesbian."
23/24 "If you're thinking of coming to America, this is what it's like: you've got your Comfort Inn, you've got your Best Western, and you've got your Red Lobster where you eat. Everybody's very fat, everybody's very stupid and everybody's very rude - it's not a holiday programme, it's the truth."
24/24 On the N-word row: "I’ve been told by the BBC that if I make one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked."
A screengrab from Jeremy Clarkson's video apology
The BBC said it had "received a wide range of feedback about this and some people have expressed their disappointment or have asked for more information".
It went on: "We do hope you'll understand that we value this reaction, but the investigation is still under way. Until more is known, we're therefore unable to say anything further in response and will not yet be making further statements about the issue.
"We realise you'll be disappointed that we can't respond to you in any more detail but thank you for contacting us."
The apology comes as more details of the corporations’ inquiry into the incident between Clarkson and Oisin have emerged.
The BBC has reportedly not asked any of the staff at the Simonstone Hall Hotel near Hawes in North Yorkshire to give testimony at the investigation which is being led by BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie.
Restaurant manager Robert Scott - who was on duty when the "fracas" occurred - said there had been no contact from the BBC about the inquiry.
“I do not know the BBC’s processes, but I can say that I haven’t been asked to give any evidence or attend their inquiry, and neither have any of the staff here,” he told the Guardian. “They probably just want to keep it among the cast and crew.”
Both Clarkson and Oisin are expected to give their accounts of the events early next week.
It has emerged that it was Clarkson himself who first reported the incident to Danny Cohen, the director of television, on Monday.
The star had reportedly been unhappy at being unable to order a steak at the luxury hotel where the crew were staying after filming.
The Sun and Mirror reported the hotel's chef had gone home by the time they arrived and the stars were offered cold meat platters, although the presenter requested a £21.95 steak.
Clarkson reportedly blamed Mr Tymon for not arranging hot food and described the incident as a “scuffle”. The hotel's general manager then cooked the meal for the star, sources claimed.
The TV personality denies throwing a punch but is understood to have told friends that that there had been some “handbags and pushing” over the incident.
Today a family who also stayed at the hotel reported they had witnessed the “fracas”.
The Ward family from Leeds were excited to be staying at the same hotel as the Top Gear presenters and staff but told Sky News they were shocked when they witnessed the internationally recognisable figure launched into an expletive-ridden tirade.
“He said he hadn't done his job properly, it was ridiculous that there was nothing to eat, obviously there was lots of expletives in between all this, and that he would be losing his job, he would see to it that he would lose his job,” Sue Ward, 54, told a Sky News reporter
The family’s claims appear to directly contradict reports last night that Clarkson felt there was “no bad blood” between the presenter and producer.
Last night Clarkson, who previously made light of the incident to reporters, joking he was “off to the job centre”, changed his Twitter bio to “I am probably a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show, Top Gear”.
Clarkson, who joined Top Gear in 1988, has been embroiled in controversy after controversy and marked himself out as a challenger of political correctness.
Last year alone, he apologised for using the racial slur “n*****” in an un-aired Top Gear segment, and almost sparked a riot in Argentina after he drove a Porsche with the number plate H982 FKL, which was regarded as a deliberate reference to the Falklands War of 1982.
However, his departure from the programme would pose huge challenges for the BBC. It is also not yet clear whether the presenter has any non-compete clauses in his contract, which would restrict him entering into agreements with other broadcasters.Reuse content