BBC presenter calls for strikers to be shot
The BBC was forced to apologise on Wednesday after television presenter Jeremy Clarkson said public sector workers taking part in a 24-hour walkout should be shot in front of their families.
The national broadcaster issued an on-air apology, saying Clarkson's comments on The One Show were a misjudged attempt at comedy.
When asked what he thought of the strikers, Clarkson said: "I would have them all shot".
"I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families," added the presenter best known as the face of the BBC's top-rated "Top Gear" car show.
"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?" he said.
CNN chat show host Piers Morgan, a long-time foe, slammed Clarkson on micro-blogging website Twitter.
"Just to be clear, Jeremy Clarkson thinks underpaid, overworked nurses on strike today should be 'executed in front of their families'," he tweeted.
British unions claim that up to two million public sector workers walked out over changes to their pensions while thousands marched through central London and Manchester, northwest England.
Outspoken Clarkson previously caused outrage when had described former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who lost his sight in one eye in an accident suffered while playing rugby as a teenager, as a "one-eyed Scottish idiot".
© 2011 AFP