BBC viewership affected by Jeremy’s suspension

BBC’s decision to postpone the remaining episodes of Top Gear has seen it lose millions of viewers and receive thousands of complaints.

The latest episodes which were to be aired on Sunday night were replaced by a Red Arrows documentary which pulled in just one million viewers – compared to the five million who regularly tune in for the popular motoring show.

The BBC has refused to say how many viewers have contacted it about its decision to suspend Jeremy Clarkson and postpone the remaining episodes but it is believed to be in the thousands.

Communications watchdog Ofcom said it had received more than 100 complaints, with a spokesman saying it will take no action as it “can only assess a breach of the broadcasting code if a show has actually aired”.

The BBC’s inquiry into Clarkson’s Top Gear “fracas” has started – less than a week since it announced the presenter was suspended after allegedly punching producer Oisiin Tymon after filming for the show during a row over a hot meal at a hotel.

A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC’s position is the one we set out in a statement last week. We have an investigation led by Ken MacQuarrie to establish the facts and people should wait for the outcome of that.”

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