The suspended Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson says at a charity gala he wants to do “one last lap” of the programme’s test track before he is sacked.
Clarkson’s future at the programme has been in doubt since it emerged he was involved in what the corporation called “a fracas” with one of the show’s producers.
Speaking at a charity gala for young people at the Roundhouse in Camden, London, the 54-year-old said he wanted to do “one last ever lap” of the Top Gear test track. In video footage, Clarkson said: “I thought, okay I’ll go down to Surrey and I’ll do one last lap of that track before the f****** b******* sack me, and then I thought well why don’t we put somebody in the car with me?”
He went on: “I’ll drive somebody around in whatever I can get hold of when I’m sacked, so it will probably be an Austin Maestro, who knows? But anyway, we’ll do one last ever lap of the Top Gear test track.”
Clarkson added: “I’ll be a bit tearful when I do it… to be in the audience of Top Gear there was an 18-year waiting list. You know the BBC has f***** themselves, and so who gives a f***? “It was a great show and they f***** it up.”
Clarkson’s future at the BBC is likely to be decided next week when the corporation’s internal investigation into his behaviour is handed over to the director general.
Guido Fawkes tank and BBC – protest organisers not answering any difficult questions pic.twitter.com/KQC6zQmV7V
— alex thomson (@alextomo) March 20, 2015
Meanwhile, in a stunt by the right-wing political website Guido Fawkes, a petition in support of Clarkson was delivered to the BBC in a tank. A person dressed as the motoring show’s enigmatic professional driver The Stig was onboard as the tank arrived outside New Broadcasting House near Oxford Street.
The tank’s gun was pointed towards the media centre as one of the corporation’s employees received the petition, which was organised by the political blog.
Harry Cole, who works for the website, said: “We are not defending him. We are saying don’t punish the viewers, don’t punish the fans of Top Gear.
“Punish Jeremy Clarkson all you want but don’t pull Top Gear off the air because it is not fair to the millions of people who love him. We are representing the silent majority of Top Gear viewers.”
Organisers almost had to call a halt to the stunt when the tank broke down just short of its destination.
“There was a slight technical difficulty, but The Stig got his jump leads out,” Cole joked.
A BBC spokesman said: “Following last week’s suspension of Jeremy Clarkson, Ken MacQuarrie is now considering the evidence and will report to the director general on his findings next week.
“Once this has been considered, we will set out any further steps. The BBC will not be offering further commentary until then.”
The millionaire presenter was suspended after allegedly punching producer Oisin Tymon during a row, which took place after filming, over not being able to get a steak at a hotel. The last episodes of the series have been postponed, losing the BBC millions of viewers and receiving thousands of complaints.
Both Clarkson and Tymon have now given their evidence to the corporation’s inquiry.