Earlier this week, RadioTimes.com broke the news that Jeremy Clarkson was considering quitting the BBC altogether, even if he was cleared over his “fracas” with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon.
And now the presenter – who was suspended on Tuesday over his actions – has hinted he will indeed leave the Corporation following his latest run-in, reportedly over a lack of hot food after a long day of filming the BBC2 series.
Appearing to compare himself to a prehistoric beast, Clarkson writes in his column for The Sun newspaper, “I think it’s fair to say that nature made a mistake when it invented the dinosaur. It was too big, too violent and with such small and puny arms it was never going to be able to operate heavy machinery or even enjoy a bit of special ‘me’ time.
“So one day all the dinosaurs died – and now, many years later, no one mourns their passing.”
He continues: “Let’s be honest. These big imposing creatures have no place in a world that has moved on.”
Clarkson’s cryptic column also contains a thinly concealed dig at the Beeb, talking of, “the modern, risk-averse world of health and safety,” before concluding, “The fact is that you can start as many campaigns as you like and call on the support of politicians from all sides, but the day must come when you have to wave goodbye to the big monsters and move on.”
A petition – set up by right wing blogger Guido Fawkes – calling for Clarkson to be reinstated has already gained over 870,000 signatures ahead of the BBC’s disciplinary panel, led by Ken MacQuarrie, which is rumoured to begin on Monday.
Clarkson’s suspension means the next two episodes of Top Gear – which he presents with Richard Hammond and James May – have been pulled from the schedules, with the series finale (set to air on 22nd March) hanging in the balance.
In addition to to his veiled remarks, Clarkson also made a brief, direct reference to his suspension. “I don’t intend to dwell here on what happened then or what will happen in the future. I’m sure you’re as fed up with the story as I am.
“One of the things that has cheered me is how many people have expressed support in the last few days. I’m touched and grateful.”
Although, he did take time to address rumours he’d resorted to taking the bus, a report that first appeared in The Times newspaper. “I can assure you that things are bad. But they are not that bloody bad.”