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Fans want 'Top Gear' host Clarkson reinstated

Some half a million fans from around the world have called on the BBC to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson to his job as 'Top Gear' host. The outspoken motoring journalist was suspended after a 'fracas' with a producer.

The #link:https://www.change.org/p/bbc-reinstate-jeremy-clarkson?just_created=true:Internet petition# to have Clarkson returned to his job as "Top Gear" host had gained more than 670,000 signatures by early Thursday.

"We the undersigned petition the BBC to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson. Freedom to fracas," the online appeal on the petition website Change.org says.

Media have reported that Clarkson - who is no stranger to controversy - was suspended by the British public service broadcaster after being accused of aiming a punch at a male producer.

In addition to temporarily removing Clarkson for having participated in a "fracas," the BBC has canceled the broadcast of three upcoming episodes of the successful motoring show, which is estimated to have a global audience of some 350 million people across some 200 countries.

Alleged racism

Clarkson is already on a final warning over accusations last year that he had used racist language while filming the show, which has been dogged by a series of scandals, often involving its host.

In one incident, the BBC was force to apologize to Mexico after "Top Gear" described Mexicans as "lazy" and "feckless."

A rival petition to have the 54-year-old presenter sacked has also gathered some 13,000 signatories.

The Guardian newspaper reported that the BBC's commercial arm may face a multi-million pound bill from foreign broadcasters following the delay in delivering the episodes, which make up the end of the current series.

tj/sms (Reuters, AFP)

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