Just two days after Jeremy Clarkson’s suspension from the popular British TV show ‘Top Gear’, a petition for the BBC to reinstate the controversial presenter has already gained 660,000 signatures as of Thursday morning.

The blog ‘Guido Fawkes’ launched an online petition a matter of hours after the initial announcement of Clarkson’s suspension on Tuesday afternoon, and the traction was such that it has rapidly exceeded half a million supporters.

Jeremy Clarkson
An online petition to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson is rapidly gathering signatures

The BBC stated that an investigation into the alleged brawl between Clarkson and one of the show’s producers is under way, but that in the meantime they would not be broadcasting the next episode of ‘Top Gear’, which was scheduled for Sunday evening.

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No further details about the alleged fracas have been officially released, but a number of reports have suggested that the presenter is accused of throwing a punch at a producer in a dispute over catering.

54 year old Clarkson has been the centre of controversy on innumerable occasions in the past, mainly for such things as blurting out inappropriate remarks on live television, and was given a ‘final warning’ by the BBC in 2014 over the use of a racist term while reciting the nursery rhyme ‘eeny, meeny, miny, moe’ in an unbroadcast segment.

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As for the BBC, it is caught in something of a dilemma between sticking to its guns and avoiding reputational damage if it reverses its decision, and the enormous commercial advantages brought to it through ‘Top Gear’’s lucrative worldwide franchising. It is watched by over 350 million globally in 170 countries, and a dividend paid to the corporation last year was reported to be in the region of £4.5 million.

Only two months ago, following the notorious incident in Argentina where the cast and crew were chased out of the country by angry Falklands veterans following a license-plate controversy, the show’s producer Andy Wilman suggested that another series after the now-cancelled one may not happen.

More: ‘Top Gear’ producer Andy Wilman hints another series may not happen