According to BBC News, there are allegations that the show host “punched” a producer, which other media outlets have named as Oisin Tyman. It said the incident took place while filming on location in the north of the U.K.
The Daily Mirror reported that the “fracas” erupted over an issue regarding catering. “They came to the end of filming after a long day, and Jeremy discovered that no food had been laid on. He just saw red and hit the assistant producer, who he blamed for not having organized the food. He snapped,” it quoted a source as saying.
The incident was reported to the BBC on Monday, resulting in Tuesday’s decision by the public broadcaster to suspend Clarkson and the show.
With Clarkson being an already heavily contentious media personality in the U.K. following remarks over the past few years that have been deemed racist and xenophobic, the news has made headlines nationwide, sparking widespread debate over his future and that of the show, which airs in more than 100 countries and brings in some $220 million for BBC Worldwide.
Within minutes, an online petition calling for the BBC to “Bring Back Clarkson,” was posted online. It has been signed by more than 250,000 people as of Wednesday morning London time.
On announcing the suspension, the BBC also confirmed that the episode of Top Gear due to air this Sunday would not be broadcast. A spokesperson has now confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the following episode, the penultimate one of the current season, has also been canceled, while they haven’t yet decided on the final installment. “It’s a moving situation,” they said.
Meanwhile, Clarkson appeared to joke about the incident by tweeting about possible films that could replace the Sunday broadcast, suggesting the BBC should air When Eagles Dare instead.