Jeremy Clarkson says expletive-filled BBC rant over Top Gear was 'in jest'

Clarkson said he was 'told off' by his lawyer for his expletive-filled rant at a charity event

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The Independent Online

Jeremy Clarkson has said he was "joking" when he made comments about the BBC at a charity gala in north London.

Clarkson, who has been suspended from his role as Top Gear presenter over a row that took place during production, was filmed telling the audience: “To be in the audience of Top Gear there was an 18-year waiting list. You know the BBC has f**ked themselves, and so who gives a f**k?”

Writing in the Sunday Times, Clarkson said his comments had been in good humour.

He wrote: "But it was all meant in jest and anyway it worked.

"By being brief, controversial and a bit sweary I woke the room up and the auction prize I was offering – one last lap of the Top Gear test track – raised £100,000."

Clarkson said that he had woken up the next day to the news his on-stage speech at the charity gala for young people at the Roundhouse in north London the previous evening had been videoed, and was told off by his lawyer.

Clarkson told the Sunday Mirror that he has been "put on silence" about the Top Gear 'fracas'.

Clarkson said: "I’ve been put on silence. There are very good reasons from my point of view why I simply can’t say a word."

Clarkson was suspended from Top Gear after allegedly punching show producer Oisin Tymon and calling him a "lazy Irish c**t" when Tymon reportedly failed to provide him with a hot meal at the end of a day of shooting.


A petition to have Clarkson reinstated on Top Gear has received over 1 million signatures, and was delivered by a military tank to BBC headquarters in London on Friday 20 March.

Clarkson tweeted his thanks to supporters but declared in his column in the Sun on 21 Match that "protest never works".

His future at the BBC is likely to be decided next week, when the corporation’s investigation into his behaviour is handed over to the director general.