Jeremy Clarkson could walk away from the BBC after being suspended following an apparent "fracas" with a Top Gear producer, according to the Evening Standard. Clarkson's contract is up later this month though all three Top Gear presenters were said to be days away from signing new deal.

Jeremy ClarksonJeremy Clarkson has been suspended by the BBC pending an investigation

That now looks very much in doubt for Clarkson, who was suspended on Monday after a reported scuffle with a senior producer. The last three episodes of the current series have been pulled and the BBC is dithering over making any firm decision on its future.

The right wing political blogger Guido Fawkes - without having any real knowledge of what happened between Clarkson and the producer - began a petition to reinstate the controversial presenter, tweeting, "We the undersigned petition the BBC to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson. Freedom to fracas."

"100 righteous citizens every minute, exercising their voice as licence fee payers."

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The fracas is believed to have happened last week at the end of a day's filming in Newcastle when Clarkson apparently lost his temper because the team's dinner was not ready.

One source told the Daily Mirror, "It was all over a catering issue. They came to the end of filming after a long day and Jeremy discovered that no food had been laid on.

"He just saw red and hit the assistant producer, who he blamed for not having organised the food. He snapped."

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, who was due to be the guest on Sunday's show, said in a tweet, "Should be driving a reasonably priced car today in beautiful sunshine. Ah well, heard the food's crap anyway." 

More: Frankie Boyle calls on BBC to sack "culture tumour" Jeremy Clarkson