herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Million-strong petition for Clarkson is delivered to BBC by 'The Stig' in a tank

A man dressed as Top Gear's 'The Stig' delivers a million signature petition by tank to the BBC at the New Broadcasting House, London. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
A man dressed as Top Gear's 'The Stig' delivers a million signature petition by tank to the BBC at the New Broadcasting House, London. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

A man dressed as Top Gear's Stig has delivered a near million-strong petition to the BBC's London headquarters in a tank to call for the return of the show's host, Jeremy Clarkson.

The large military vehicle aimed its gun at New Broadcasting House, in Marylebone.

Clarkson (54) has been suspended since it emerged he was involved in what the BBC called "a fracas" with one of the show's producers.

On Thursday night, he launched an expletive-laden broadside against the corporation's executives, who he claimed are about to sack him.

The petition, organised by political blog Guido Fawkes, attracted nearly one million signatures calling for Clarkson's reinstatement since its launch a week ago.

investigation

However, organisers almost had to call a halt to the stunt when the tank broke down just short of its intended destination.

Harry Cole, a journalist with Guido Fawkes, said: "There was a slight technical difficulty, but The Stig got his jump leads out."

Clarkson publicly thanked his supporters on Twitter yesterday following the petition's delivery, but made it clear that his future remains undecided.

"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," he said.

Clarkson's future on the BBC is likely to be decided next week when the corporation's internal investigation into his behaviour is handed over to the director-general.

A BBC spokesman said on Thursday: "Following last week's suspension of Jeremy Clarkson, Ken MacQuarrie is now considering the evidence and will report to the director-general on his findings next week.

"Once this has been considered, we will set out any further steps. The BBC will not be offering further commentary until then."

Clarkson was suspended after allegedly punching Irish producer Oisin Tymon during a row - which took place after filming - over a hot meal at a hotel.

The last episodes of the series have been postponed, causing the BBC to lose millions of viewers and receive thousands of complaints.

Both Clarkson and Tymon have given their evidence to the corporation's inquiry.

hnews@herald.ie

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