Jeremy Clarkson QI guest spot shelved in wake of One Show row

BBC puts Top Gear host's appearance on Stephen Fry show on ice after complaints over 'strikers should be executed' comment

 

Jeremy Clarkson
An edition of QI featuring Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson will no longer be broadcast tonight in the wake of his comments about public sector strikers. Photograph: Copetti/Photofab/Rex Features

The BBC has shelved Friday night's scheduled edition of BBC2 panel show QI featuring Jeremy Clarkson because of fears it would prompt another backlash from viewers.

The Top Gear presenter prompted more than 30,000 complaints following his controversial appearance on BBC1's The One Show last week in which he said striking public sector workers should be "executed in front of their families".

Clarkson was due to appear on the Stephen Fry series on Friday alongside Ross Noble, Dara O'Briain and regular panellist Alan Davies in a show recorded during the summer.

But BBC executives have pulled the programme, fearing his return to the airwaves would have come too soon after The One Show controversy, around which they believe there remains huge public sensitivity.

"It's not to do with anything specific that Clarkson said on QI," said one industry source. "It is more a case of the BBC not wanting to look as though it didn't care about the storm and putting Clarkson back on screen as if nothing had happened."

Friday's scheduled edition of QI has been replaced with another episode of the popular quiz featuring Sandi Toksvig, Lee Mack, Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies.

BBC insiders said the programme would be shown later in the current run of QI and had not been shelved entirely.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "It is not unusual for the running order of a programme to change. The billed episode will be shown at a later date."

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