Did Jeremy Clarkson snap over lack of food?

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was suspended after he allegedly punched a producer.

BBC News also reported that it “understood” the final three episodes of the series would not be broadcast in the wake of what the corporation has officially described as a “fracas” between the pair.

This is despite an online petition calling for the 54-year-old’s reinstatement soared past 130,000 signatures.

The producer involved in the alleged bust-up, said to have taken place after filming in Newcastle and over a lack of catering, has been named by the Daily Mirror as Oisin Tymon, 36.

The Mirror reported the “fracas” was over a lack of catering, with the paper quoting a source as saying: “They came to the end of filming after a long day and Jeremy discovered that no food had been laid on.”

The presenter then “snapped”, the source added.

But according to the Sun newspaper, Jeremy, who is a columnist for the paper, said: “I’m having a nice cold pint and waiting for this to blow over.”

Meanwhile, a source told the paper: “He didn’t punch anyone.”

Top Gear is watched all over the world (Rowan Horncastle/BBC)

The presenter has lurched from controversy to controversy in recent months – offending foreign diplomats, viewers, MPs and his own bosses at the BBC.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “Following a fracas with a BBC producer, Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended pending an investigation.

“No-one else has been suspended. Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday. The BBC will be making no further comment at this time.”

James May confirmed the row was sparked by catering arrangements for the show, but defended his co-presenter.

He told BBC News that he was not there when it happened.

“I think he’s been involved in a bit of a dust-up and I don’t think it’s that serious,” he said.

And Perry McCarthy, who was the show’s anonymous driver Stig for several years, said there had been a “complete over-reaction” by people “looking to be offended”.

Jeremy had initially failed to acknowledge news of his suspension, instead joking with colleagues Richard Hammond and James on Twitter about what should be done with the now-empty slot on the BBC’s schedule this Sunday.

This Sunday’s episode was set to feature the hosts getting to grips with classic cars such as a Fiat 124 Spider, an MGB GT and a Peugeot 304 cabriolet. They were set to take to the road and end up at a classic track day, while Gary Lineker was due to be the “star in a reasonably priced car”.

Jeremy was put on what was called his final warning last year following a racism row after claims he used the n-word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe during filming of the BBC Two programme.

Top Gear is one of the BBC’s biggest money spinners, pulling in millions of pounds from a devoted – and international – audience.

Top Gear’s executive producer Andy Wilman described last year as “an annus horribilis” for the show after the claims of racism and the near-riot in Argentina.