Top Gear has been trending online since the news that presenter Jeremy Clarkson had been suspended by the BBC following an alleged 'punch up' with an Irish producer of the show.
At the time of going to press, over 280,000 had signed a petition to reinstate Clarkson, eighteen hours after the petition was created on Change.org. The petition, which features a photograph of Clarkson smoking, required 150,000 signatures and is shooting towards 300,000 already.
The hastag #BringBackClarkson accompanies the petition online, reaching over 1.1m people.
Fans are also angry over the removal of the show from tonight's programming schedules. So far, the BBC have 'refused' to say if the popular show will 'ever' return to screens.
One frustrated Twitter fan questioned "why can't the BBC punish Clarkson without punishing the fans"?
The much-anticipated Argentina episode was due to air in the next few weeks - the episode that saw Clarkson and his team "run out" of Argentina for an "offensive number plate". The BBC later 'admitted' that they processed the paperwork for the registration plate before the car was shipped. Clarkson has always maintained that the 'H982 FKL' number plate, which complainants claimed was a reference to the Fawklands war, was a 'coincidence'.
Clarkson's contract with the BBC has been reported to "run out at the end of the month", which means the presenter could walk away from the BBC before the investigation is completed - leaving Top Gear fans dangling.
Save Clarkson? Save empty cardboard boxes and off-cuts of string. They're far more useful.— James May (@MrJamesMay) March 11, 2015
Clarkson's co-presenters seemed unruffled by the "fracas", exchanging tweet suggestions on what the BBC could air instead. Richard Hammond opted for 'Last of the Summer Wine', tweeting "They'll never tell the difference".
It is not the first time Clarkson has hit the headlines for 'offensive' behaviour. Most recently, he was reprimanded by broadcasting agency Ofcom for referring to an Asian man as a "slope" on a special of the show.
Clarkson was reported to have made €19.8m from Top Gear in 2013.
You can sign the petition here.
THE BBC is refusing to discuss whether Top Gear will ever return to television after Jeremy Clarkson was suspended over a “fracas” with a colleague and the rest of the current series was pulled from the schedules.