Combative Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has come out all guns blazing following a report in the Mail on Sunday that an unnamed BBC executive had likened his unorthodox behaviour to that of paedophile DJ Jimmy Saville.
Enraged by the comparison the presenter has instructed his lawyers to pursue a defamation action against the broadcaster as part of efforts to unmask the mystery source, someone Clarkson believes to be connected with the office of James Purnell, the BBC’s head of strategy.
The paper quoted a high-ranking executive ‘directly involved’ in the Clarkson dispute saying that: “If you look at what David Cameron says or what (former culture and media Secretary) Maria Miller says and you swap Clarkson for Savile, you get this: David Cameron is effectively saying that Savile's a real talent, Maria Miller saying Savile will be Savile.”
A BBC spokesperson dismissed suggestions that Purnell may be involved as ‘categorically untrue and ridiculous’
The organisation is currently in the midst of an internal investigation into the star following an alleged ‘fracas’ with producer Oisin Tymon.