Popular Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is calling in lawyers over a comment made by an ‘unnamed source’ which compared him to paedophile Jimmy Savile, the Express reports.
Mr Clarkson, who is set to reappear on TV screens as a guest host of ‘Have I Got News For You’, is demanding that the BBC retracts the comment and undertakes a full investigation into the identity of the BBC source who made it.
A Sunday newspaper reported a BBC executive who was “directly involved in the fallout from the incident”, that politicians were turning a blind eye to the presenter’s behaviour because of how popular he was.
A petition calling for the BBC to reinstate Mr Clarkson has now reached 961,000 supporters although according to his own column the journalist may be the one who ends the financially fruitful relationship.
And another petition has been launched, calling for the controversial petrol head to be replaced by fictional character Alan Partridge with Lorn Macdonald, who started the campaign, saying: “Alan has a strong track record for broadcast presenting, from his relaxed professionalism with guests on BBC chat show Knowing Me Knowing You to his effortless banter on his talk shows at Radio Norwich.”
So far it has received over 17,000 signatures.
The source allegedly said: “If you look at what David Cameron says or what Maria Miller says and you swap Clarkson for Savile, you get this: David Cameron is effectively saying that Savile’s a real talent, Maria Miller saying Savile will be Savile.”
Clarkson, it is understood, thinks the source of this comment is connected to the BBC’s Head of Strategy, former Labour minister James Purnell, according to the Daily Mail. Mr Purnell has reportedly denied any links with the statement.
The Top Gear presenter once again hit the headlines when the broadcaster reported he had been suspended following a ‘fracas’ which turned out to be a disagreement over the content of a post-filming evening meal.
Clarkson and his co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond were late back to their hotel in Yorkshire where they had been filming and discovered that the kitchen staff had been sent home.
Denied a steak, the presenter allegedly called the producer, who has since been named as Oisin Tymon, a “lazy, Irish c***” and assaulted him.
When questioned about the allegations, Mr May told journalists who doorstepped him that he didn’t know because he was “blind drunk”.
Senior BBC executive Ken MacQuarrie has been put in charge of the investigation which will decide Clarkson’s fate following the drunken rant.
It has been revealed that Mr Tymon does not want the ratings-pulling presenter sacked from the BBC’s hugely successful motoring programme but thinks instead he should have anger management counselling.