Jeremy Clarkson with mouth openMark Thompson, director general of the BBC, has been forced to go to bat for Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson after the television host jokingly suggested striking public sector workers should be shot in front of their own families. Yep. That sounds like Clarkson to us.

According to the UK's Guardian and Telegraph dailies, members of the UK Parliament then began calling for the government-owned BBC to oust Jezza, with Labor Party member Jim Sheridan asking whether or not Clarkson was a luxury the BBC couldn't afford. Around 32,000 people sent complaints to the network about the host's disparaging remarks, but Thompson countered, suggesting that Clarkson is one of the UK's chief cultural exports at the moment.

The BBC executive also said far more people would be upset to see the gregarious host disappear from Top Gear than had complained about his flippant remarks.

This is just the latest episode in a long line of Clarkson's skirmishes with various nationalities, religions and organizations, but it doesn't look like the British personality is going anywhere any time soon.