TV

Jeremy Clarkson petition calling for ITV to back presenter gains 20,000 signatures

Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Respond To Clarkson's Apology

Jeremy Clarkson fans have launched a petition calling for ITV to back the presenter, after the 62-year-old faced calls to be sacked.

It comes after the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host published a column expressing his controversial opinions on Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

In an op-ed for The Sun, Clarkson wrote that he dreamt of the day Markle would be made to parade naked through Britain while the crowd chanted “shame” and threw “excrement” at her. The piece was widely criticised and Clarkson issued a public apology to the couple.

ITV chief Carolyn McCall previously stated that Clarkson’s comments are not representative of ITV’s views.

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Now, a petition has been signed which calls on ITV to stick by the presenter and not drop him from the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? job.

The petition, titled "To the CEO of ITV: Don’t Cancel Jeremy Clarkson" has been signed by more than 20,000 people.

It reads: "Please don’t fire Jeremy Clarkson as host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? as a result of what he wrote about the Duchess of Sussex in the Sun newspaper in December."

Clarkson will remain the host of Millionaire “for the moment”Nick England/Getty Images

Claiming that the reaction to the piece has been “completely disproportionate”, it continues: “If people make mistakes and then apologise for them, we should give them the benefit of the doubt, not seek to destroy their livelihoods and turn them into social pariahs.

“After all, we believe in the possibility of redemption for even the most hardened criminals; why can’t we extend the same charity to people whose only crime is to have said something offensive?”

ITV boss McCall previously wrote a letter published by Deadline on the subject, which read: “Everyone at ITV is very aware of our responsibilities as a Public Service Broadcaster and I’d like to be clear that the comments made were Jeremy Clarkson’s own and are in no way endorsed by ITV. There is no place on ITV for the comments made in that article.

“It is also worth adding that Jeremy Clarkson is not an ITV employee and that when he appears on ITV it is as a quiz show host on a show which does not provide a platform for his opinions.”

In December, Kevin Lygo, ITV’s director of television, said that Clarkson would remain the host of Millionaire “for the moment”.

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