THE BBC AND Jeremy Clarkson have issued a public apology after yesterday’s on-air rant by the TV presenter over the UK general strike.
As shown in the video below, Clarkson said that the protesters should be taken out and “executed in front of their families”.
“How dare they go on strike when they’ve got these gilt-edge pensions,” he added:
(Video uploaded by TylerAgainstCuts)
One of the main unions behind yesterday’s strike action over pension contribution changes for public sector workers called for Clarkson to be fired by the BBC for his comments yesterday. Unison’s general secretary described Clarkson’s remarks as “totally outrageous”.
In a statement today, the broadcaster said:
The One Show is a live topical programme which often reflects the day’s talking points. Usually we get it right, but on this occasion we feel the item wasn’t perfectly judged. The BBC and Jeremy would like to apologise for any offence caused.
Clarkson later said he didn’t expect his comments to be taken seriously.
Earlier in the programme he had said he believed the strikes were “fantastic” because London was empty and “you can whizz about, restaurants are empty”. He had also said he was annoyed when rail services were delayed because a person had jumped under a train, for which the show apologised before it ended yesterday.
The BBC received over 4,700 complaints over his remarks on the show.
Today, Unison’s general secretary Dave Prentis welcomed Clarkson’s apology, saying he was pleased Clarkson had “seen the error of his ways” – and extended an invitation for the Top Gear presenter to spend a day with public sector workers:
We would like to invite him to spend a day on a hospital ward, with one of our healthcare assistants. They do vital work caring for patients – cleaning up sick, bathing patients, and wiping bottoms. We think he has many of the personal skills necessary for the job.