Clarkson Hits Out At BBC Over Racism Row
Jeremy Clarkson has criticised the BBC over its handling of his Top Gear "racist language" row.
The host used his weekly newspaper column to hit out at the BBC's plan for him to apologise publicly following claims he used the n-word while reciting a nursery rhyme while filming the show.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has stepped into the row, saying the TV star had not gone over the line of being offensive and added it was "just typical Clarkson".
Mr Farage said: "The more controversial Jeremy Clarkson is, the more people watch his programme, and the more money the BBC makes out of marketing a show that sells globally and makes them a fortune.
"I would think it's just typical Clarkson, getting very, very close to the line of being offensive but perhaps not quite going over it."
A contrite Clarkson appeared in a video posted on Twitter on Thursday, in which he said he was "horrified" that it sounded as though he used racist language in a take which was never broadcast.
The apology was retweeted more than 15,000 times but failed to draw a line under the incident, with Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman the latest high-profile figure to add her voice to the row.
Ms Harman wrote on Twitter: "Anybody who uses the n-word in public or private in whatever context has no place in the British Broadcasting Corporation."
In his column in The Sun, Clarkson detailed how he found out that the BBC footage had been leaked and the realisation after the Prime Minister was asked for comment that his job could be under threat.
He wrote: "Happily the BBC had a plan. Unfortunately, it wasn't a very good one.
"They said, very firmly, that I should apologise. Hmmm.
"An apology is a good idea if you've just spilled some beer down someone's shirt or if you've accidentally trodden on someone's toe in a Tube train.
"But saying sorry for using the most racist word of them all, and hoping the story would die down as a result?
"That's like murdering someone and expecting to be let off if you apologise to the dead man's mum."
Clarkson, 54, said he has been warned by the BBC that if he slips up in the future, he will be fired.
He wrote: "I've been told by the BBC that if I make one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked.
"And even the Angel Gabriel would struggle to survive with that hanging over his head.
"It's inevitable that one day, someone, somewhere will say that I've offended them, and that will be that.
"The BBC will take my gun and badge and I'll be out of the door with a bin liner full of nothing but a few mementos."
Clarkson has explained the incident to BBC bosses and the Corporation said in a statement: "We have made it absolutely clear to him the standards the BBC expects on-air and off."
The presenter has had messages of support from fans on Twitter and received backing from Education Secretary Michael Gove, who said on Friday that his apology should draw a line under the affair.
But Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of the anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out, told Sky News: "The BBC has turned a blind eye to Clarkson's indiscretions in the past and is afraid to take action against someone who considers himself to be a law unto himself."