The BBC has suspended Jeremy Clarkson after a reported ‘fracas’ with a producer. It also syas Top Gear will not screen this weekend.
Details are unclear, but the BBC says Clarkson has been suspended ‘pending an investigation’.
“No one else has been suspended. Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday,” it said. “The BBC will be making no further comment at this time.”
The controversial presenter has had numerous run-ins with the BBC. He was put on what was called his final warning last year following a racism row after claims that he used the n-word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe during filming of the BBC2 programme.
In recent years Jeremy has been cleared of breaching the broadcasting code by watchdog Ofcom after comparing a Japanese car to people with growths on their faces.
He previously faced a storm of protest from mental health charities after he branded people who throw themselves under trains as “selfish” and was forced to apologise for telling BBC One’s The One Show that striking workers should be shot.
Earlier this year, BBC director-general Tony Hall defended Top Gear.
The hit series has been dogged by rows over racism and sparked a near-riot while filming in Argentina, but he defended the motoring show as offering “a different voice” to viewers.
Last year, the show was censored by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules after Jeremy used a “racial” term during the programme’s Burma special, which had aired in March last year.
The year ended with the motoring show’s crew forced to flee Argentina after trouble erupted when it emerged they were using a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL, which some people suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict of 1982.
But each episode in the two-part Christmas special attracted more than seven million viewers last year, with a further three million for each episode on iPlayer. This Sunday’s episode on BBC2 was set to feature the trio – Jeremy with Richard Hammond and James May – getting to grips with classic cars such as a Fiat 124 Spider, an MGB GT and a Peugeot 304 Cabriolet.
They were set to take to the road and end up at a classic track day, while Gary Lineker was the “star in a reasonably priced car”.
Top Gear’s executive producer Andy Wilman described last year as “an annus horribilis” for the show after the claims of racism and the near-riot in Argentina.
Clarkson has so far remained silent about the suspension.