Los Angeles - Jeremy Clarkson thinks he will be fired by the BBC "very soon".
The Top Gear presenter was suspended by the broadcaster earlier this week after it was confirmed he'd been involved in a "fracas" with a producer and he's now confessed he thinks it's inevitable he will be permanently sacked from the show, which he hosts alongside Richard Hammond and James May.
He said: "Well, it's coming, isn't it?"
Asked if he's worried about getting fired, he told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Honestly, it's very soon. Let's just let sleeping dogs lie for the moment."
The 54-year-old star is reported to have punched producer Oisin Tymon, 36, over a "catering issue" and it's now emerged the problem arose when he told Tymon he fancied an 8oz sirloin steak with fondant potatoes, pan fried wild mushrooms, grilled cherry tomatoes and peppercorn sauce on upon arriving at his hotel after shooting for Top Gear.
When Tymon told Clarkson the kitchen at the Simonstone Hall Hotel in Hawes, Yorkshire had already closed but offered him a platter of cold meats and cheeses instead he's said to have lashed out.
A local from the hotel, near where the show was filming on location, told The Sun newspaper: "The staff knew the BBC were arriving late so they organised meat and cheese platters. The chef had already gone home.
"Clarkson didn't like the idea of sandwiches and demanded a juicy steak. He wanted his own way.
"The producer was being blamed for not arranging hot food."
However, the witness went on to claim that Jeremy did not hit Tymon and revealed he was eventually provided with the steak he'd requested.
The insider added: "Clarkson didn't hit him - but he did use every possible swear word you can imagine. He had to be held back. The producer just stood there looking embarrassed.
"The general manager ended up cooking Clarkson's steak. He apologised the next morning."
Meanwhile, it's been revealed the incident was not reported to senior bosses at the BBC until five days later and Top Gear employees are said to be shocked by how serious the issue has become.
An insider told the newspaper: "It does seem extraordinary that it has got to this stage ... Everyone gets on together pretty well at Top Gear. I certainly wouldn't say Jeremy and Oisin had a bad relationship. I don't know where this has come from."
Not 'that serious'
Fellow presenter James May doesn't think Jeremy Clarkson's suspension is "that serious".
Admitting he wasn't there when the "fracas" took place, he told BBC News: "I think he's been involved in a bit of a dust-up and I don't think it's that serious."
The BBC has confirmed they've launched an investigation into the altercation between Jeremy and a producer named by the Daily Mirror newspaper as Oisin Tymon.
They've also decided to cancel the broadcasting of the next two episodes of Top Gear and may axe the rest of the series altogether.
James added: "I don't think there's anything more to say about Jeremy that isn't already in the statement."
Perry McCarthy - who previously appeared on the show as the anonymous driver Stig - also jumped to his former colleague's defence, claiming there's been a "complete over-reaction' by people "looking to be offended".
Meanwhile, Celebrity Big Brother star Katie Hopkins has revealed she is also hoping for Jeremy to return, claiming he's the only reason she pays the licence fee which funds BBC programming.
Writing on Twitter after the news of his suspension broke, Katie said: 'Clarkson suspended by BBC. I don't care what he said. Clarkson all the way. #TopGear #topbloke
"@JeremyClarkson v @BBC Without him, the licence fee makes no sense whatsoever. Enough left lunacy. Get the man back on #topbloke #TopGear (sic)."
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