The BBC has received more than 200 complaints following a joke on Top Gear, with callers all demanding that Jeremy Clarkson should be sacked.
"This joke has been going on too long," said one complainer. "He is not even a funny joke - just a ridiculous one."
Another added, "What's so smart about taking a small car and sticking a rocket on it and trying to look macho? Or sinking a boat by putting two huge outboard motors on it to make it look racey?"
The BBC did not pass comment on the complaints, or the joke, but insiders fear nothing will be done about the joke because he is on a huge contract and the BBC fear losing him to a rival channel.
Top Gear is one of the most popular programmes on TV, with viewers tuning in to watch the three presenters compete to build ever-more-challenging vehicles. James May usually plays it safe with some sensible old parts, while Richard Hammond applies a bit of scientific thinking to his constructions. Then in comes the joke with his super-charged, loud and heavy monstrosity.
Clarkson is fond of saying his things are more manly than the others, and that everyone else is a big girl - forgetting that he grew out of short trousers decades ago and he is actually supposed to be a mature man.
Clarkson was unavailable for comment. Well he was but we couldn't stand the idea of talking to him.