Jeremy Clarkson hints again at possible Top Gear exit after 'fracas' and compares his departure to 'the dinosaurs becoming extinct'

The Top Gear presenter implies he is a 'dinosaur' and says 'the day must come when you have to wave goodbye to the big monsters'

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The Independent Online

Jeremy Clarkson has hinted that he is an aging dinosaur whose time at the BBC may have come to an end.

The controversial Top Gear presenter admitted the situation he finds himself in since a “fracas” with a producer is “bad” and that he is “fed up”.

His comments were made in his column in the The Sun newspaper in which he compared his possible departure from Top Gear to that of the big beasts being replaced by other animals.

The day must come, he admitted, when you "wave goodbye to the big monsters" and he went on to say that big imposing creatures on the brink of extinction, like the polar bears or tigers, had no place in a world which has moved on. "We lose one animal and we get another. The world turns."

He continued: "I don't intend to dwell here on what happened then or what will happen in the future. I'm sure you're as fed up with the story as I am."

In typical Clarkson fashion he determined to make light of the row, noting that one news report had been "wildly inaccurate" in saying he had been seen using a bus. "I can assure you that things are bad. But they are not that bloody bad," he wrote.

More than 800,000 people have now signed an online petition calling for him to be reinstated following his suspension while the BBC investigates his row with producer Oisin Tymon.

Clarkson is said to have taken issue with Tymon after returning to a hotel after a day’s filming to discover that no hot food, in particular a £21.95 steak, was available.

The internal investigation is likely to take weeks to be completed and some potential witnesses still have to be contacted.

He is scheduled to appear alongside co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond at four live shows in Norway on March 27 and 28 and a decision on whether to go ahead is expected early next week.

However, all three men's contracts expire three days after the Norway gigs, which could render any disciplinary hearings redundant.

The last three episodes of the series have currently been put on hold.

Clarkson started the process when he told his bosses at the BBC about the row.

The BBC disciplinary panel will be led by Ken MacQuarrie, the head of BBC Scotland, who carried out the investigation into Newsnight's false expose of Lord McAlpine.

A lawyer for Mr Tymon said his client "intends to await the outcome of the BBC investigation and will make no comment until that investigation is complete".

A family who witnessed the row said Clarkson was staying at the Simonstone Hall Hotel near Hawes in North Yorkshire and went into the bar at around 9.30pm after a day of filming last Wednesday.

Bob Ward, 60, from Leeds, told Sky News the star refused to have a selfie taken with him, saying: "No, not with the day I have had."

His wife Sue claimed Clarkson then said it was "ridiculous there was nothing to eat" and she said he thought his colleague had not done his job properly.

"Obviously there were lots of expletives in between all this," she added.

She said Clarkson told his colleague "he would see to it that he would be losing his job".

The BBC owns the rights to the Top Gear brand, which is valued at £50 million, and includes the show, DVD rights and live shows, raising the prospect of Top Gear continuing on the BBC while Clarkson takes a similar show to one of its rivals.