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LONDON – No sooner had the BBC moved into damage limitation mode over Jeremy Clarkson’s diatribe against striking public service workers than the Top Gear host was at it again: this time putting people who commit suicide by jumping in front of trains in his sights.
Writing in his weekly newspaper column in the Sun, Clarkson said such “Johnny suicides” were “selfish” because of the delays they caused – as well as the impact they had on other people involved.
He compounded his unsympathetic approach by adding that their body parts should be left exposed on the tracks “for foxes and birds to eat.”
At first some had speculated that the rash of recent controversies were part of a misguided attempt to stoke publicity for his new book. But now, insiders at the BBC are privately expressing concern over the presenter’s state of mind, speculating that the state of his marriage may be partly responsible for the presenter’s poor judgement.
Clarkson is understood to have moved out of the family home he has shared with his wife Frances for 18 years over reports of numerous affairs and a claim from his first wife that their relationship carried on long after his second marriage.
“There is a feeling that he is in a more vulnerable state that he should be and that is why his judgement isn’t A-grade at the moment,” a BBC source was quoted in the Daily Mail.
The BBC had earlier apologised for Clarkson’s suggestion that striking public service workers should be “executed in front of their families,” which last week drew more than 31,000 complaints.
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