Published Friday, 02 May 2014
Footage of the Top Gear presenter uttering the 'N-word' while filming an episode of the motoring show surfaced on Thursday and Clarkson denied using the insult, but later admitted it.
According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, he was called into the BBC for a talk with bosses, who gave him a final warning after he got into trouble for uttering a racial slur in a separate incident in March.
A source tells the newspaper: "We have drawn a line in the sand. This really is his last chance. He was left in no doubt this has to be game changer.
"He spoke with various bosses and they were livid - Jeremy had to make amends."
Clarkson released his own video statement on Thursday evening, where he admitted "mumbling" the word and begged the public for forgiveness.
He says: "A couple of years ago, I recorded an item for Top Gear in which I quoted the rhyme 'Eeny, meeny, miney, mo'.
"Now, of course, I was well aware that in the best known version of this rhyme there is a racist word that I was extremely keen to avoid. The full rushes show that I did three takes.
"In two, I mumbled where the offensive word would occur, and in the third I replaced it altogether with the word 'teacher'. When I viewed this footage several weeks later, I realised that in one of the mumbled versions, if you listen very carefully with the sound turned right up, it did appear that I'd actually used the word I was trying to obscure.
"I was mortified by this, horrified. It was a word I loathe. I did everything in my power to ensure that that word did not get in the programme that was transmitted.
"In fact, I have here a note I sent at the time to (the) production office and it says: 'I didn't use the n-word here, but I've just listened through my headphones and it sounds like I did. Is there another take that we could use?' Please be assured I did everything in my power to not use that word.
"I'm sitting here begging your forgiveness for the fact obviously my efforts weren't quite good enough. Thank you."
A BBC spokesman later issued a statement reading: "Jeremy Clarkson has set out the background to this regrettable episode. We have made it absolutely clear to him, the standards the BBC expects on air and off. We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this."
In March, Clarkson caused controversy in a special Burmese edition of Top Gear, where he used the phrase "slope" in reference to an Asian man crossing a bridge.