Jeremy Clarkson has today issued a grovelling apology for his anti-strike rant on The One Show yesterday and insisted that his comments were taken out of context.
“I was just making a joke about the BBC’s need to be impartial. If you listen to the whole interview, you’ll see there isn’t a case to answer,” he told The Sun. “I started by saying I supported the strikers. Obviously, because it’s the BBC, I have to be impartial. So then I said they should be shot.”
The Top Gear protester told viewers that anyone who went on strike should be “executed in front of their families” on Wednesday, but insisted that the comments – which sparked nearly 5,000 complaints – were only meant as a joke. That old chestnut.
“Most people who are complaining haven’t seen the full interview. It’s a knee-jerk reaction,” bleated Clarkson, as some called for him to resign after another gaffe. “I would urge Unison to watch the whole interview and see if they’re still offended afterwards.”
Call Me Dave Cameron, who is a friend of Clarkson, stuck his neck out by describing the comments as ‘silly’ and Labour leader Ed Miliband branded them “absolutely disgraceful and disgusting”.
Unison boss Mr Prentice was also unimpressed: “Clarkson’s comments were totally outrageous, and cannot be tolerated. We are seeking urgent legal advice about what further action we can take against him and the BBC. Public sector workers and their families are utterly shocked.”
“Whilst he is driving round in fast cars for a living, they are busy holding our society together. We are calling on the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson immediately.”