UK’s favourite loud mouth had a bit of a rant at the strike by public sector workers.
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson said live on The One Show that public sector workers out on strike should be executed in front of their families
He prefaced the remarks, however, by asserting that he liked the strikers as the industrial action meant there was no traffic on the roads. Adding that he had to be balanced as he worked for the BBC, he then joked: I would have them taken outside and executed them in front of their families
Clarkson went on to ‘shock’ viewers by saying trains should not stop for people who have committed suicide by throwing themselves onto the rails.
The comments sparked the inevitable ‘storm of outrage’ on Twitter.
The BBC said in a statement: The One Show apologised at the end of the show to viewers who may have been offended by Jeremy Clarkson’s comments.
Update: Well…Perhaps a few thousand or so whinges
2nd December 2011. See article from guardian.co.uk
Jeremy Clarkson’s remarks on Wednesday night’s One Show prompted more than 5,000 complaints to the BBC — and a political ‘storm’ in which Ed Miliband said his remarks were absolutely disgraceful and disgusting. It fell to his friend and Boxing Day dining companion David Cameron to provide crucial, if lighthearted support to the presenter.
The prime minister, in a TV interview, played down the incident: That’s obviously a silly thing to say and I’m sure he didn’t mean that. I didn’t see the remark but I’m sure it’s a silly thing to say.
Shortly after, as the BBC feared a repeat of the Sachsgate affair which led to the resignations of Ross and Brand, Clarkson issued an apology and the BBC deployed one of its most senior executives, George Entwistle, to sort out matters behind the scenes.
The presenter’s apology said: I didn’t for a moment intend these remarks to be taken seriously — as I believe is clear if they’re seen in context. If the BBC and I have caused any offence, I’m quite happy to apologise for it alongside them.
Humour challenged Dave Prentis of Unison said the unions were consulting on taking Clarkson to court and called on the BBC to sack him.
The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said the jibe was more than silly: If it was intended as a joke it was in pretty awful taste. If he wanted to confirm his caricature as an outlandishly rightwing figure, he has managed to do that.
Update: Well…the odd 20,000 or so
2nd December 2011. See article from bbc.co.uk
The BBC has received more than 21,000 complaints over Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson’s remarks that striking public sector workers should be shot.
BBC Audience Services said the Corporation had received 21,335 complaints as of 09:30 GMT.
The deputy general secretary of Unison, the UK’s largest union, Karen Jennings, told the BBC:
We’ve accepted the apology.
He’s recognised that he went too far in saying what he said and what we’re doing now is extending our hand to him to come and work with a healthcare assistant to see just how they work and the healthcare they deliver.
I think he would enjoy that.