Jeremy Clarkson was saved from disciplinary action over his use of the N-word by BBC director general Tony Hall, according to reports in the Guardian which suggest Hall overruled a top BBC executive who wanted more than the final warning the Top Gear host received.
Clarkson wrote in his The Sun column last week he would be sacked if he made "one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time".
After footage of Clarkson making the offensive comment - an outtake of the presenter reciting the 'Eeny, meeny, miny, moe' rhyme - was leaked he was reportedly called in to see Hall and BBC director of television Danny Cohen.
Cohen is reported to have wanted to take some form of disciplinary action, which could have been anything from a suspension to the termination of his contract. However, Hall made the final ruling which saw Clarkson given a final warning.
A BBC source told the Guardian: "They've obviously been working together and you saw the statement which was issued last week."
As the footage was not broadcast the Top Gear presenter did not breach any of the BBC's editorial guidelines or the Ofcom code, but BBC presenters are advised in their contracts to not bring the BBC into disrepute.
Production teams are now trying to find out how the outtake was leaked.
Currently Ofcom is investigating another comment made by Clarkson in the motoring show's Burma special broadcast in March following two complaints.