(AFP) – Nov 7, 2008
LONDON (AFP) — An MP has called for controversial BBC presenter Jeremy Clarkson to be sacked, as a growing number of viewers complained about remarks he made in a new row rocking the broadcasting giant.
More than 1,800 people have complained about the comments, in which the notoriously-provocative frontman of the cult show "Top Gear" made fun of lorry drivers, according to a BBC spokeswoman.
On the latest edition of the show Sunday, Clarkson crashed a lorry through a brick wall for a stunt, and commented: "This is a hard job and I'm not just saying that to win favour with lorry drivers, it's a hard job.
"Change gear, change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That's a lot of effort in a day," added the 48-year-old.
Earlier this year a former lorry driver, Steve Wright, was convicted of murdering five prostitutes in Ipswich in a case which attracted a huge amount of publicity.
Chris Mole, a Labour Party MP who represents the constituency where Wright committed the murders, said Thursday that Clarkson should be dismissed.
"The murders in my constituency in 2006 were horrific and the community has spent a lot of time pulling together to respond constructively to such dreadful events," he wrote in a letter to BBC director general Mark Thompson.
"For Mr Clarkson to make light of murder in any circumstance must be a dismissible offence," he added.
The BBC, which has said Clarkson's remarks were intended to make fun of "an unfair urban myth about the world of lorry driving," said that as well as complaints it had received 150 calls in support of the presenter.
Meanwhile an online games developer unveiled a new game which gives lorry drivers the chance to run down and "kill" Clarkson. It allows players to control an animated Clarkson being chased by angry truckers.
"Jeremy Clarkson is a loveable rogue, but we think he's overstepped the mark this time. So we figured we'd give truckers the chance for revenge," said Sadia Chishti of T-Enterprise, designer of the game "Run Clarkson Run."
The Clarkson row came after Lesley Douglas, the head of the BBC's most popular radio station Radio Two, quit last week over offensive on-air comments by top presenters Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.
Brand resigned and Ross has been suspended for 12 weeks over the comments, made in a phone prank played on veteran actor Andrew Sachs, who starred in the 1970s comedy "Fawlty Towers."
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