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Sir David Attenborough says BBC wrong to sack Clarkson

Stewart Turner

Has all that time hanging out with mountain gorillas gone to Sir David Attenborough’s head?

The veteran broadcaster has belatedly waded into the BBC Top Gear row, and reckons the Beeb was totally wrong to sack presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

The 90-year-old national treasure, who was once BBC 2’s controller, reckons Clarkson’s anti-establishment schtick was healthy for the corporation.

“I regret letting Clarkson go, because it’s very good to have a voice that’s anti-establishment, or so profoundly anti-establishment,” he told the Radio Times.

Ex-Top Gear presenter Clarkson was dropped by the BBC back in March, following an unprovoked physical and verbal attack that left the show’s producer Oisin Tymon needing hospital treatment.

It doesn’t get much more anti-establishment than that, does it?

Sir David said he was more than happy for the BBC to wave goodbye to the Great British Bake Off, though.

Asked if they were right not to renew a deal with the show’s production company, he bellowed: “Oh, absolutely right! To say to them: ‘If you want another million, go ahead, we’ve got plenty more ideas where that came from’.”

Attenborough also used the Radio Times interview to reveal himself as anti-Brexit, and criticised David Cameron’s decision to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

 “There’s confusion, isn’t there, between populism and parliamentary democracy,” he explained. “I mean, that’s why we’re in the mess we are with Brexit, is it not? Do we really want to live by this kind of referendum?

“What we mean by parliamentary democracy is surely that we find someone we respect who we think is probably wiser than we are, who is prepared to take the responsibility of pondering difficult things and then trust him – or her – to vote on our behalf.”

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