An online petition calling for the reinstatement of troubled Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has gained more than 300,000 signatures in less than 24 hours after he was taken off-air over a bust-up with a colleague.

On Tuesday, BBC bosses announced the controversial host had been suspended “following a fracas with a BBC producer” so officials could investigate the situation.

Clarkson’s suspension means the final three episodes of the current series of Top Gear will not be aired, and outraged fans have taken to social media to protest using the hashtag #BringBackClarkson.

An online petition was created on Change.org in the hours after the suspension news broke, demanding BBC bosses reinstate the star, and it had gained more than 300,000 signatures as WENN went to press.

Clarkson has since shrugged off the scandal, telling reporters, “I’m having a nice cold pint and waiting for this to blow over”, and in a post on Twitter.com, he suggested BBC bosses replace his motoring show with 1968 war drama Where Eagles Dare to fill the gap in the U.K. TV schedule on Sunday