Clarkson sparks 21,000 complaints
Jeremy Clarkson's TV outburst in which he said striking workers "should be shot" has led to more than 21,000 complaints to the BBC.
The Top Gear host - who made his comments during BBC1's The One Show on Wednesday - has since apologised, together with the BBC. The incident led to condemnation by union leaders and politicians, with Prime Minister David Cameron branding the presenter's comments "silly".
Clarkson said his comments were not meant to have been taken seriously as he made his apology. But in an interview with The Sun he appeared to be taking the matter less than seriously when he also apologised to sparrows, after saying he did not like them during the same interview.
The BBC said that the number of complaints about his remarks had reached 21,335 by Friday morning.
In a statement, Clarkson said: "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 said the item "wasn't perfectly judged".
Clarkson's gaffe came as he appeared on TV on the evening of Britain's biggest public sector strikes for 30 years.
Speaking about the strikers, he said: "I'd have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families. I mean, how dare they go on strike when they've got these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living?"
Labour leader Ed Miliband was among those who took a dim view of the words he chose on live TV, calling the comments "absolutely disgraceful and disgusting". Mr Cameron, a personal friend of Clarkson, said: "It was obviously a silly thing to say."
The Unison union had called on the corporation to sack the presenter over the "appalling" comments.