Anger over comparison of Clarkson to Savile
Victims of Jimmy Savile have denounced comparisons of the support shown embattled Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson to the widespread protection offered to the dead paedophile presenter as "upsetting" and "totally offensive".
A senior figure at the BBC is said to have suggested that Clarkson (inset) is able to behave as he wishes because of his celebrated position and his support from powerful friends, including Prime Minister David Cameron.
A Sunday newspaper claimed the BBC chief compared the support for Clarkson to the way sex offender Savile was defended.
Clarkson was suspended after allegedly punching Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon after filming for the show during a row over a hot meal at a hotel.
The newspaper quoted the unnamed figure as saying, "The pressure this guy [Tymon] is under is so Savilesque in a way", adding: "If you look at what David Cameron says or what [former culture secretary] 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."
The reported comments drew a furious response from victims of the disgraced former Radio 1 DJ.