Global fans demand BBC reinstate 'Top Gear' host Clarkson
By Michael Holden
LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly 450,000 fans from around the world have backed a petition calling for British presenter Jeremy Clarkson to be reinstated to his job hosting the "Top Gear" motoring show after the BBC suspended him following a "fracas" with a producer.
Clarkson, renowned for his outspoken remarks and acerbic attitude towards "political correctness", was suspended by the BBC on Tuesday, with media reporting that he had thrown a punch at a producer following a row about food. [ID:nL5N0WC4H4]
"I'm off the to the job center," the 54-year-old presenter told reporters on Wednesday before getting into a car outside his home in west London.
Clarkson, a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron, was already on a final warning over accusations last year that he had used racist language while filming the show, the latest in a long line of incidents which had courted criticism.
BIT OF A DUST-UP
"He's been involved in a bit of a dust-up but I don't think it's that serious," co-presenter James May told BBC TV.
"Top Gear", aired in more than 200 countries and estimated to have a global audience of some 350 million, has become one of the BBC's most successful and lucrative programs. Continued...