Entertainment & Arts

Jeremy Clarkson: BBC comments 'meant in jest'

Jeremy Clarkson Image copyright PA
Image caption Jeremy Clarkson was suspended from Top Gear on 10 March following a 'fracas' with a producer

TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson has said comments he made last week criticising the BBC were meant as a joke.

The Top Gear host gave an expletive-filled description of the corporation's bosses while at a charity event in London on Thursday.

An investigation into the 54-year-old's current suspension following a "fracas" with a producer is still ongoing.

But writing in the Sunday Times, Clarkson said his comments were "all meant in jest".

He said his "choice language" was to help boost the price of his auction item - a lap of the Top Gear test track.

"By being brief, controversial and a bit sweary, I woke the room up and the auction prize I was offering... raised £100,000," he said.

Clarkson's comments at the Roundhouse Gala were made more widely public on Friday after a video of the event was posted online.

During his speech, the presenter also suggested he expected to be "sacked" by the BBC, auctioning what he described as his "last lap" on the race track.

In his newspaper column on Sunday, he appeared to further hint he was no longer working for the corporation writing: "I used to work on a television show called Top Gear."

'Protest never works'

Image copyright Twitter

The presenter was suspended from the BBC Two show on 10 March, following an alleged altercation with producer Oisin Tymon.

A report over the incident is due to be handed to BBC director general Tony Hall next week, who will consider the evidence and "set out any further steps".

An online petition calling for the presenter's reinstatement has been signed by more than one million people since his suspension.

Clarkson thanked his supporters on Friday via Twitter saying: "Many many thanks to all of the people who have called for my reinstatement. I'm very touched. We shall all learn next week what will happen."

However writing in The Sun on Saturday he said: "Protest never works. Because we are all plankton. And the world is run by whales.

"You can be a big and important plankton but that doesn't make a jot of difference if a whale has decided to eat you up. You can get a million other plankton to dress up and wave banners but Mr Whale won't even notice."

The BBC said it would "not be offering further commentary" on any issues involving Clarkson until the current investigation was concluded.

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