So did the BBC just give up their Golden Goose?
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson may have been suspended ‘following a fracas’, but it seems many people really don’t want to see the controversial presenter go just yet.
Jeremy with co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond at the 2011 National Television Awards (Ian West/PA)
An online petition emerged shortly after the announcement, asking the BBC to rethink its position and bring Jeremy back on the show.
The petition, started by Guido Fawkes, states: “We the undersigned petition the BBC to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson. Freedom to fracas. #BringBackClarkson.”
— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) March 10, 2015
— Change.org UK (@UKChange) March 10, 2015
Top Gear existed long before Jeremy Clarkson took the helm, but recent events beg the question – does the show have much of a future without the controversial star?
— Damien Sansom (@Damo_samps) March 10, 2015
— steven rothwell (@steven_rothwell) March 10, 2015
On the Graham Norton show (Ian West/PA)
Almost 250,000 people – and counting – have signed the petition, with one fan Peter Maxwell writing: “I’m signing because Clarkson is a superb presenter and Top Gear is without doubt one the BBC’s better programmes.
“The viewing figures support this.”
Another petitioner Martin Jones writes: “A minority of over sensitive people should not ruin one of Britons favourite shows.”
— Alex Vincent (@AlexVincent_) March 10, 2015
— Jordan Berry (@jordanb3rry) March 10, 2015
— roni j (@roni9uk) March 10, 2015
Despite past controversies, Jeremy has managed to become central to the show and the Top Gear brand.
Only last year, its head of TV Danny Cohen warned that “no-one is bigger than the club” after a series of racially-fuelled gaffes.
— William Willatt (@wgwtwenty10) March 10, 2015
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) March 10, 2015
Here’s what football presenter Gary Lineker, who was due to be on the show that will now not be aired on Sunday, had to say about BBC’s decision:
I don’t think I’m ever meant to appear on Top Gear!
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 10, 2015
It is believed Jeremy was put on ‘final warning’ in 2014 after racism row over a nursery rhyme, in which he appeared to use the n-word while reciting “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe” during the show’s filming.
Not everyone is quite so sympathetic about Clarkson’s plight, though.
Very sad to hear Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended…Would have preferred a full sacking! #fracas
— Vicky Prior (@QueeniePrior) March 10, 2015
Jeremy Clarkson suspended. Sadly, not by his testicles. #Fracas
— Annalie (@AnnalieGrogan) March 10, 2015
Meanwhile, in all other jobs, you’d have been fired long ago. #fracas
— Justin Lewis (@Mumbler3) March 10, 2015
Ultimate irony: Jeremy Clarkson suspended due to a foreign word. #fracas
— Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) March 10, 2015