Global fans demand BBC reinstate 'Top Gear' host Clarkson

Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:07pm EDT
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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.


"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...

Television presenter Jeremy Clarkson leaves an address in London, March 11, 2015.   REUTERS/Peter Nicholls