Not to be outdone by Jonathan Ross; Jeremy Clarkson thought he'd go one further on Sunday night's (prerecorded) Top Gear, saying:

"What matters to lorry drivers? Murdering prostitutes? Fuel economy? It really is a hard job and I'm not just saying that to gain favour with truck drivers. There's so much to do. You've got to change gear, change gear, change gear, check mirror... murder a prostitute. Change gear, change gear, murder."

The BBC received 188 complaints after the show's broadcast, with Road Haulage Association chief executive Roger King making a point of writing BBC DG Mark Thompson (who really needs another holiday pronto) to express his anger at the "slanderous slur on lorry drivers". After all, there's only been two well-known serial killers who worked as hauliers - Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright and Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe.

A spokeswoman for the English Collective of Prostitutes said: "This is a truly heartless comment. In the wake of the murders of five young women in Ipswich and the killing of over 60 prostitute women in the last 10 years, how did this remark come to be broadcast? Mr. Clarkson should apologise immediately to prostitute women and our families, especially those of us bereaved by murder."

Instead, the BBC released this statement: "The vast majority of Top Gear viewers have clear expectations of Jeremy Clarkson's long-established and frequently provocative on-screen persona. This particular reference was used to comically exaggerate and make ridiculous an unfair urban myth about the world of lorry driving, and was not intended to cause offence."