Demonstrators gather at the Embankment in central London
Demonstrators gather at the Embankment in central London Reuters

The strike by up to two million public sector workers in Great Britain has raised emotions on both sides of the issue, but perhaps no one has had as extreme a reaction to the work stoppage as Jeremy Clarkson, thew Top Gear presenter.

During an appearance on the BBC’s ‘The One Show,’ the 51 year-old television star and newspaper columnist suggested strikers should be executed in front of their families.

“I would have them all shot,” he said, when asked what should be done about the strikers.
I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families. 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.

While some members of the audience nervously laughed at his remarks, the show’s hosts Matt Baker and Alex Jones appeared to be stunned and shocked. (see video below)

BBC, which said it received complaints about the comments, issued a quick apology.

While we like Jeremy and his strong views, sometimes he exaggerates them for comic effect, BBC said in a statement.

Separately, a BBC spokeswoman said: The One Show apologized at the end of the show to viewers who may have been offended by Jeremy Clarkson's comments.

Daily Telegraph reported that on Twitter, Clarkson was both vilified and praised for his comments. (His supporters claimed he was just joking).

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott, wrote on Twitter: “Clarkson says these things to be outrageous & obviously doesn’t mean it. But I think he’s misjudged the public mood. I know Jeremy Clarkson likes winding people up but it’s worth pointing out he gets £1-million a year from the license fee/public sector.