Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson apologises for his One Show rant

by Lynn Connolly

Having said that he won’t apologise for saying the striking workers should be shot, Jeremy Clarkson has backtracked and apologised…

However, his sense of humour prevailed and he told the Sun that he was actually apologizing for saying he didn’t like sparrows!

He said, “I caused grave offence. I hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”

But joking aside, he did then apologise for his “shoot them all” remark, which sparked 4,800 complaints to flood in to the BBC.

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, threatened legal action and demanded that Jeremy be fired for saying, “Frankly, I’d have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families…”

He added, “Clarkson’s comments were totally outrageous, and cannot be tolerated.

“We are seeking urgent legal advice about what further action we can take against him and the BBC.

“Public sector workers and their families are utterly shocked.

“Whilst he is driving round in fast cars for a living, they are busy holding our society together.

“We are calling on the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson immediately.”

In reply, Jeremy said, “I was just making a joke about the BBC’s need to be impartial.

“If you listen to the whole interview, you’ll see there isn’t a case to answer.

“I started by saying I supported the strikers. Obviously, because it’s the BBC, I have to be impartial.

“So then I said they should be shot.

“Most people who are complaining haven’t seen the full interview. It’s a knee-jerk reaction.

“I would urge Unison to watch the whole interview and see if they’re still offended afterwards.”

Last night, Jeremy said in a statement, “I didn’t for a moment intend these remarks to be taken seriously — as I believe is clear if they’re seen in context.

!If the BBC and I have caused any offence, I’m happy to apologise alongside them.”

The BBC added, “We feel the item wasn’t perfectly judged.”

Prime Minister David Cameron branded Jeremy’s remarks as “a silly thing to say”, while Labour leader Ed Miliband said his remarks had been “absolutely disgraceful and disgusting”.

You can see yesterday’s report on the incident here, where there’s also a clip of Jeremy making his remarks.

However, though it was definitely a daft thing to say, I think political correctness has been going mad of late, and I would have thought – but maybe it’s not the case – that people would have realized it was meant light heartedly.

I doubt if Jeremy actually intended to shoot anyone, so I think the reaction has been totally OTT.

What say you?

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.