Video: “I Would Have Them Shot” BBC Apologises For Clarkson’s Anti-Strike One Show Rant

December 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Features

The BBC was forced to apologise on behalf of Jeremy Clarkson last night after the Top Gear host told viewers watching The One Show that he’d have any public sector workers who strike killed. “I’d have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families,” said the man who enjoys a bloated salary from British tax-payers through the licence fee.

“I mean how dare they go on strike when they have these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed, while the rest of us have to work for a living.”

The presenter continued on his rant by attacking public transport: “I do sometimes use the train to come to London but it always stops in Reading. It’s always because somebody has jumped in front of it and somebody has burst. You just think, why have we stopped because we’ve hit somebody? What’s the point of stopping? It won’t make them better.” Nice.

Labour’s shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, Jon Trickett, later said: “No-one wants these strikes but most of today’s strikers are mums, not militants. Clarkson should apologise. And the prime minister should make clear he disassociates himself from the distasteful remarks uttered by one of his friends.”

At the end of The One Show Matt Baker issued an on-air apology stating: “Although we enjoy Jeremy’s views, which he sometimes exaggerates for comical effect, we are seriously sorry if his comments about deaths on the railways has upset anyone.”

Carli C says:

We are all entitled to our own thoughts//’take’ on a subject. I believe that ‘strikes/unions’ have been our country’s downfall. See 5-men, doing ONE job – get real. We do have to WORK for a living. Too many ‘sick’ too many ‘scroungers’ – the people that have pride and do work, are sadly ‘paying the price’.

fred brooker says:

Being an elderly Englishman who is well acquainted with his mother tongue, I wouldn’t mind a pound for every time I have used that or a similar phrase over my lifetime, or heard others use it. It’s a wellknown idiomatic phrase that’s part of the English language. I could say that I think that Clarkson should be shot for what he said. If I did, does that mean I mean it literally? Of course not. Those who think otherwise , really don’t know much about our language and “deserve to be shot” for making such a stupid fuss.

Tony says:

Some body should take Clarkson outside and have him shot! Sick of hearing about this offensive w**ker upsetting people; remember his racist rant about Mexicans and so on. An idiotic bigot who is definately not humorous.

emily says:

Right, if you could all get off your high horses for just a minute about “free speech” and “opinion”, I think you’ve forgotten the fact he said all this babble on the ONE SHOW (my gran watches that) at 7PM.
I reckon THAT’S the issue here…………. ? No? Cos I’m pretty sure you’d not let your gran watch Frankie Boyle and he has plenty of mental things to say (which are actually funny.)
And also here we go again believing the celebs are real people, Clarkson has an image to keep up- this is how he earns his dosh by the way if you didn’t know by being sarcastic, dry and annoying people, so he acts like a *insert word here* for a living, i’d pity him if anything guys!

Right Winger says:

This is to the pathetic left wing brigade that leave silly uneducated comments on here, surely there’re not that thick they don’t remember the strikes that decimated the British car industry, the PLA (London docks) jobs for life fiasco, the miner’s strikes that tried to hold the country to ransom none of it worked, the reason for that is that socialism doesn’t work in the 20th century its outdated and ruined a once great country. Our Parents fought 2 World Wars so we can have our freedom and our free speech; everybody has the right to express his or her views even if you do not agree!! They have the right!!

Caiptean says:

Clarkson could have made a funny remark but instead went for including a ‘shock factor’ as well.

However, in this instance many found Clarkson’s comments were offensive and inappropriate. Whether one agrees with that they were offensive is immaterial as clearly upset was caused to many.

Was his public apology sufficient?

In this situation it probably was.

Oz says:

His voicing his opinion even then he was playing devils advocate, leave the beeb alone else they will censor more and more

LaughingSpamFritter says:

Those of you with limited intellect who somehow think this is ok because it’s just Clarkson being “funny” are living in cloud cuckoo land – fooling themselves that this is harmless prankery. You’re mugs. Clarkson and his wealthy elitist friends – AA Gill, Dave “The Twat” Cameron, etc etc, do not have anybody’s interests at heart except their own. If you believe otherwise you have been suckered. To Clarkson folks who strike to try and safeguard their family’s livelihoods are of no significance whatsoever, just detritus to be insulted and ridiculed, jokingly “executed” – that’s offensive enough, but: “in front of their familes” was going too far. You piece of crap Clarkson, get a grip you snivelling pile of faeces. This is hideous right wing muck of the worst kind – we didn’t fight the last war so that anachronisms like Clarkson can exercise this kind of “freedom of speech”. Is Clarkson really so immature that he has to draw attention to himself in such a pathetic way? What a pratt.

I repeat that those of you who somehow think this behaviour can be excused as funny or just Jeremy’s “edgy” humour are quintessential Daily Mule mugs. Keep taking the tablets you pillocks.

Aswaldi says:

Some day all men will be made this way.

Rock on Clarkson!

rob says:

ps….. and your tv listings web site is better than Radio Times

rob says:

jeremy clarkson IS THE BEST THING on telly for speaking out for the majority of people NOT JUST trade unionists and politiclly “correct” crack pots who lost their a sense of humour when tony blair and New Labour came in

Alan says:

Mr Clarkson’s views really show us all why and how Mr Osborne’s austerity cuts are wrong, why they won’t work and why they will lead to certain trouble. Basically we aren’t all in it together. Firstly the economic crisis was caused by the ultra rich, their stockbrokers and their bankers. To pay for them, Mr Osborne is cutting public services, but the thing is that the richer you are – the less public services you use and the poorer you are the more you use.
Mr Clarkson, Mr Osborne, Mr Cameron and the rest of his Chipping Norton set don’t use public health services, schools or libraries so don’t give a monkey if they are closed. And they want us to become unemployed so we are more desperate for a job and will work for pennies – just like in Victorian times when the rich were very very rich and the poor ver very poor.

richard says:

really…………really. people need to just calm down, he was having a joke, come on people of the uk, just chill out, not a little, alot. can people just not have there say anymore without being fired or fed to the dogs, whatever happened to a little light hearted dark comedy everyone has jumped on the boat. so what he said that, larkson is his own person and has his own humour if it doesnt match yours, well……….life goes on. people of britian chill out. i was in australia 2 years ago and it reminded me of the uk many years ago……………………..its was fun. all you people who moan at others just shut up and see the funny side rather than alws lokig at the negative.

Philippa Brenchley says:

What a storm in a teacup, I know the British people take themselves much to seriously, but all this fuss over a throw away comment! Come on, its political correctness gone completely mad. Not everyone supported the strike which was initiated by left wing Union Activists whose only plan is to bring down this government

Alyson says:

The world has gone mad. It was a joke. The BBC really need to do some serious self reflection and come back to planet earth. Hello ! … he didn’t really want them all executed, he didn’t really want trains running over cadavers in Reading. You may not have thought it was a very funny joke but so what? Stupid, stupid politically correct cowardly fools, incapable of rational thought. I suggest that anyone who thought this needed anything other than an oops ! really needs to have some lessons on how humour works. If only someone in power would grow some.

barry cook says:

clarkson is just another overpaid bbc idiot not worth taking any notice of

Dave Morgan says:

This is just another example of Clarkson’s “humour” being misplaced and misjudged. I can understand that some would find the comment funny but equally how others would find it offensive.

He should have been sacked years ago for comments said in jest that were even worse. I would not miss him.

Stuart Rogers says:

For goodness sake, GET A LIFE. Clarkson is was he is, a practical joker who makes a very good living at what he does. I am fed up with ‘Political correctness’ gone mad. Anyone who seriously thinks he meant what he said is sorely dillusionary. As a retired public sector worker I laughed throughout the whole interview. Well done Jeremy, although you are still a Pillock, or even a Wassack !!

sion hughes says:

Those comments will probably cost him £100,000 plus in fines when the BBC get to grips with all the complaints because he’s probably in breach of his BBC contract by coming out with all that – he does represent the views of lots of british people who are angry about lots of things in their lives – he doesn’t represent my views though – or lots of other people.

So, expensive evening for Clarkson… after all is sad and done – I think he’s probably get dropped by the BBC and will end up hosting a show on a cable channel weve never heard of.

Sam Morris says:

Clarkson is an idiot, and really the only just thing to do with him would be to have him tarred, feathered and raped by jackals in front of his family.

But ultimately, the crusty old hypocrite is just repeating the same tired old act he’s been pulling for years.

If the BBC fire him for anything it should be for being boring as sin.

Ultimately, as long as they’re not actively endorsing his opinions (and the BBC are too spineless to endorse ANY opinion), and they’re giving air-time to people from opposing views as well, I don’t really care what he says.

Bill Evans says:

I am so sick of the thought police telling us how we should speak and think. Even before I saw the actual comment, I managed to work out that he wasn’t really calling for a mass execution. Then, when I saw the re-run, the joke was stunningly obvious. There are a lot of people out there who need to lighten up and, while they’re at it, consider shutting up. I’ve not yet met one REAL person who has any problem with his statement. I really, seriously despair about the right of free speech.

Barry Mills says:

I agree with Snowey. It was quite obvious from Clarkeson’s voice that he was joking, and probably self-parodying as well. Len – if 21,000 viewers had complained, you may have a point. But they didn’t, a dozen or so did. Much like the infamous Ross-Brand incident (which was far worse btw), the complaints came from people with nothing better to do who didn’t see the show, but were whipped into a frenzy by media sensationalism.

I think anyone who complained shout be shot (that was a joke, OK – I don’t really).

Peter Cooper says:

as usual, a comment taken out of context. People can only see the 15 second excerpt on youtube, and BBC are withholding this edition of the One Show from its iplayer. It was pure entertainment and should be tken as such.

Ian says:

I thought we lived in a country that up holds free speech.

5and1e says:

Jeremy is a bit of a pratt really – what he says is said tongue in cheek and as such means no harm by it – why take offence from someone who has more money than sense!

Snowey says:

I really do despair for the intelligence of people who are unable to distinguish between tongue in cheek and reality. The very people who want to hound this man out of a job are those who claim to be defenders of the rights of people to have the freedom to strike, write silly slogans on banners and parade through the streets shouting and chanting. Well democracy and freedom of speech works both ways and does not exist just for those who share your opinion!

Len Martin says:

To those who suugest this is not offensive and one needs to ‘get over it’, if over 21,000 people found it offensive enough to complain perhaps they may be right and the suggestion to get over it is not the right one.
If someone were to suggest that Jeremy Clarkson should be shot for making such offensive comments, I wonder how many people would complain about such a comment as that, yet he can say it and expect to offer only an apology.
Enough people in the past have said this is yet another Clarkson gaff, perhaps enough is enough and he should go.
Jonathan Ross paid the price why should Jeremy Clarkson be any different.

Ed Scott says:

It is my opinion that the reason why all of those who couldn’t take his comments as a joke was because they all have such a guilt complex about demanding inflated pensions paid for in the majority by those who will not receive the same.

sean price says:

Clarkson has forgotten where he comes from,(Rotherham) i used to like him, but not after his stupid not funny comment regarding public sector workers!
Shame on you Clarkson!!

M Garner says:

Oh grow up! This country has gone soft, may I remind you its not illegal to have an opinion. I’m a public sector worker (Armed Forces), although I’m not allowed to strike; I’m not offended in the slightest. Clarkson is entitled to his opinion and I’m sure he said what he said to add comedy effect. Leave the old millionaire alone! If you see this comment by the way Clarkson, I’d love a spin round your test track :)

Chris says:

Clarkson is a popular TV presenter BECAUSE of comments like those; he’s a funny guy; light hearted entertainment. Those who have complained either don’t know him at all, or certainly don’t watch Top Gear. I don’t watch the One Show and neither do I know what its audience is, but maybe it was a silly idea to invite Clarkson to appear on it…

Tony Watkins says:

Oh dear, yet another case of some people needing to ge a life and not take things so seriously.

Simon says:

Get over yourself BBC Clarkson was right and is only exspressing a funny opion. Not that anyone was hurt by his comments he made. Why should he say sorry at least he had the guts to say what he thought but the good old BBC don’t like people who exspress themselves or make comments. Did the BBC say sorry for the comments made by Helen Mirren on Breakfast and it was early when she said them? Will she be held accountable for her actions? Also I can remeber that Nicolas Winding said the good old F word. Come on BBC you are in the 21st century and you need to lighten up and relax.

Jim says:

Is the One Show so unpopular that no-one actually saw this out-take in it’s full context?
Clarkson had been praising the consequences of the strike (in a very tongue in cheek way), then commented that as he was on the BBC he would have to balance things with an opposing view, and came out with the ‘I’d have them all shot’ comment.

Jay says:

I don’t know this show or this man, but I can easily assume he fits in with our right-wing neo-cons types here in the U.S. They always use the most violent rhetoric while commenting and “joking”. Who would think to even say “execute them in front of their families”? Horrific imagery, but oh so clever.

Sarah says:

Jonathon Ross was sacked for offensive comments – where does this take Jeremy Clarkson. Many of our public sectors employees are awaiting to find out if they will still have a job after Christmas.

Some One Who Knows says:

John Trickett? My local MP passed those comments?

To be honest Mr Trickett having the audacity to pass any comments on any one elses behaviour really is the pot calling the kettle black, to be quite frank bar 2 other local MP’s he is a waste of space blood and organs and should be shot as per Jermanys suggestion passing the expenses on to some one who actually does something for the community.