End of road for motor mouth? 80% of Manchester tell BBC to bin Clarkson over ‘fracas’

Making headlines once again for his string of controversial antics, Jeremy Clarkson has now been suspended from the BBC after allegedly punching a producer. But should this be the final straw for his Top Gear career?

Last year a video emerged of Clarkson saying the ‘n-word’ while recording an episode of the popular motoring programme, prompting the BBC to issue him a final warning before letting him go for good.

The altercation is just another in a string which includes racism accusations over the name of his black dog, a breach of disability guidelines and a reinforcement of negative Mexican stereotypes.

Since Tuesday’s announcement Clarkson has said he may leave the BBC regardless of their decision as he believes his relationship with key executives can’t be salvaged.

But just a few hours after the news broke, hundreds of thousands of fans of Clarkson and Top Gear had signed a petition started by blogger Guido Fawkes urging the BBC to bring back the presenter.

By 11.30am this morning, it had amassed over 700,000 signatures, making it the fastest growing petition ever on the site.

MM took to the streets of Manchester to ask: 

Should the BBC finally fire Clarkson?





Bury lawyer Neil Harrison, 33, said he believed that Clarkson ‘should have been sacked a long time ago’: “While Clarkson is a big draw for the BBC, and Top Gear one of their highest rated shows, he continues to offend the public and has now gone too far,” he said.

‘SHOULD HAVE BEEN SACKED A LONG TIME AGO’: Clarkson’s had his time, says Bury lawyer Neil Harrison

Mancunian student Frances Quilley, 21, said: “Clarkson embodies outdated ideals, and by continuing the keep him on the BBC they’re almost giving him their seal of approval, meaning he will continue to be homophobic and racist.”

‘WHY SHOULD IT BE ANY DIFFERENT FOR CLARKSON?’ asks Vivian Lomas, saying that if she punched her boss, she’d be fired

Stephen Curtis, 28, a council worker from Manchester, agreed that Clarkson shouldn’t ‘get away with it’ just because he is a celebrity, adding that ‘he gets away with too much already. He needs to be taught to not act this way’.

While Fiona Chang, 31, an office worker from Trafford, believed that while Clarkson should be reprimanded, she didn’t think he should be fired.

“As a public figure, particularly on a channel as well respected as the BBC, Clarkson should be setting a good example for the public. He should be made to apologise but firing is too far,” she said.

“If they were to fire him, it wouldn’t stop him. He would just move to another TV channel and continue to be offensive. All they’re really doing is giving him publicity.”

‘FIRING HIM WOULD BE A STEP TOO FAR’: Office worker Fiona Chang says all it would do would be to give him publicity

Jack Barton, 27, unemployed and born in Manchester, agreed that Clarkson should be sacked but didn’t believe it would actually happen.

“His sacking is a long time coming and for cases like this they should do a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy. But Clarkson is a namesake and it’s hard to see them following through on getting rid of him.”

When asked about whether he thought Clarkson may leave the BBC anyway, Jack said: “I think he’s just bluffing but if he does leave he won’t be off the air for long. ITV or Sky would be happy to have him.”

Eileen Carroll, 60, a retired Mancunian, said: “Yes, he should be sacked, you can’t go round punching people! I’d go one step further and say he should be arrested for assault.”

Maneer Ahmed, 28, an office manager who lives in Manchester, said: “I love Top Gear and he’s the main man. For the sake of the show I think he shouldn’t be sacked.”

‘FOR THE SAKE OF THE SHOW’: Maneer Ahmed said ‘main man’ Clarkson is the reason behind the popularity of Top Gear

Theresa Curren, 54, a home energy surveyor from Manchester, believed that the story had probably been ‘overblown by the media’.

“It’s hard to say whether I agree or disagree as it’s not known whether he actually punched the producer. It may have just been a light shove and I don’t feel anyone should be sacked for shoving.”

Agreeing with Theresa is Matt Dickinson, 21, a student at the University of Salford originally from Heathrow, who said it’s important to remember the incident is still ‘alleged’.

“I don’t currently believe that he should be sacked because I don’t believe he did punch his producer. Besides, I quite like Top Gear.”

‘I DON’T BELIEVE IT’: Salford student Matt doesn’t even believe the punch was thrown

Steve Bronn, 30, a bartender from Manchester, said that Clarkson shouldn’t be sacked but he admitted that this was ‘mostly due to his own selfish reasons’.

“Legally, yes of course he should be sacked. Morally, yeah that too. But he’s an institution and it’ll be a shame if he’s gone.”

Top image courtesy of BBC, via YouTube, with thanks

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