This weekend's episode of Top Gear was set to feature Clarkson - who has fronted the show since 2002 - along with regular co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May at a classic track day.

Former footballer and pundit Gary Lineker was also to appear as the "star in a reasonably priced car".

Lineker has now tweeted, writing: "I don't think I'm ever meant to appear on Top Gear!"

'Strong character'

Former Top Gear presenter Chris Goffey told BBC Radio 5 live while discussions on the programme sometimes became heated when he worked on the show, "it must have been something fairly serious behind the scenes to warrant his immediate suspension.

"I can't think what the hell's gone on, but there you go. When you've got a very strong character who likes things his own way, if somebody stands up to him, there's going to be a row."

Clarkson has courted controversy on several occasions during his time hosting Top Gear.

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended by the BBC "following a fracas" with a producer.

The corporation said the 54-year-old presenter had been suspended "pending an investigation".

"No one else has been suspended. Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday," it said.

Clarkson was given what he called his "final warning" last May after claims he used a racist word while filming the popular BBC motoring show.

At the time, he said the BBC had told him he would be sacked if he made "one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time".

The BBC gave no further details on the current incident involving Clarkson, and said it would not be making any further statements at this time.

Clarkson's representatives have yet to reply to requests for a comment.

The presenter himself has remained silent, however last month he tweeted a post saying a "new presenter for Top Gear" was wanted.

"Applicant should be old, badly dressed and pedantic but capable of getting to work on time," he said.