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Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, 62, weighed in on the current debate surrounding the BBC by citing his own experiences with the broadcaster. The Clarkson’s Farm host claimed he was told to change his opinions while appearing on The One Show, to avoid causing any upset.
It comes after the broadcaster’s decision to suspend Gary Lineker, 62, from Match of the Day for criticising the Conservative government’s new asylum policy via Twitter.
Jeremy claimed in his latest column on the subject: “I was once told when visiting the Simon Mayo show that I would have to leave my copy of The Spectator outside as ‘extremist material’ was not allowed in the Radio 5 Live offices.
“And then, while I was waiting to go on The One Show, a producer said that I had to agree with the public sector strikes that were happening that day or it would be ‘awkward’.”
The BBC’s strict impartiality rules also extend to office decoration, Jeremy went on to tell The Sunday Times.
The star claims he was ordered to remove his poster of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
He then replaced it with a photo of Prince William and his wife Kate, which only irked BBC bosses further.
Recalling the moment, Jeremy continued: “I know someone who was told to take down his Union Jack because it was ‘offensive’, and I was asked to remove my poster of Mrs Thatcher because it was upsetting people who walked past.
“I did, and replaced it with a picture of Kate and Wills, which somehow made them even angrier.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the BBC for comment.
Back in 2011, Jeremy sparked over 21,000 complaints to the BBC after he joked about executing public sector workers for going on strike.
Jeremy made the controversial quip on The One Show when the Top Gear host was asked for his views on that day’s nationwide strikes.
He began by telling hosts Alex Jones and Matt Baker he liked the strikers, because the industrial action had put a stop to traffic.
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Jeremy then said he had to be balanced as he worked for the impartial BBC, before getting into a satirical rant.
The star said: “Frankly, I would have them shot. I would have them taken outside and executed in front of their families.”
Jeremy was then forced to apologise after the BBC said “the item wasn’t perfectly judged”.
He 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 quite happy to apologise for it alongside them.”
The BBC’s statement 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.”
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