The week has gone from bad to worse at the BBC after it was confirmed one of its biggest presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, has been suspended from Top Gear after coming to blows with one of the show’s producers.
"No one else has been suspended. Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday. The BBC will be making no further comment at this time," a BBC spokeswoman said. The corporation has also refused to name the producer involved.
Clarkson was put on what was called his final warning last year following a racism row after claims that he used the n-word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe during filming of the BBC2 programme.
This Sunday's episode was set to feature the trio - Clarkson with Richard Hammond and James May - getting to grips with classic cars such as a Fiat 124 Spider, an MGB GT and a Peugeot 304 Cabriolet.
They were set to take to the road and end up at a classic track day, while Gary Lineker was the "star in a reasonably priced car".
Top Gear's executive producer Andy Wilman described last year as "an annus horribilis" for the show after the claims of racism and the near-riot in Argentina.
In recent years Clarkson has been cleared of breaching the broadcasting code by watchdog Ofcom after comparing a Japanese car to people with growths on their faces.
He previously faced a storm of protest from mental health charities after he branded people who throw themselves under trains as ''selfish'' and was forced to apologise for telling BBC1's The One Show that striking workers should be shot.
Last year, the show was censored by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules after Clarkson used a "racial" term during the programme's Burma special, which had aired in March 2014.
The year ended with the motoring show's crew forced to flee Argentina after trouble erupted when it emerged they were using a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL, which some people suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict of 1982.
At the same time, the corporation was facing another embarrassment over on BBC Radio 5 Live after gaffe-prone host John Inverdale had a nightmarish slip of the tongue.
He swiftly apologised before carrying on. Last year the BBC has been forced to apologise after Inverdale suggested the women's Wimbledon champion was "never going to be a looker".
He made the disparaging remark on the broadcaster's Radio 5 live programme shortly after French player Marion Bartoli defeated Germany's Sabine Lisicki on Centre Court.
He told listeners: "Do you think Bartoli's dad told her when she was little, 'you're never going to be a looker, you'll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight?"
Inverdale, it seems, has a habit of mixing up his words. At last year's French Open he also accidentally said the word "twat" as he interviewed Jim Courier.
In an extraordinary clash at the Public Accounts Select Committee, Labour MP Margaret Hodge attacked Rona Fairhead, saying her claims she did not know about what was happening at the bank meant she should not be "the guardian of BBC licence fee payers' money".
Ms Fairhead serves as non-executive director on the bank's board and was appointed to head the BBC Trust in October last year.
Ms Hodge, who has earned a reputation as the most aggressive select committee chair in Westminster, was not convinced by Ms Fairhead's claims that she didn't know tax avoidance was going on.
The storm that engulfed the BBC quickly ignited on social media, with many perplexed about the corporation's use of language:
Assume this #fracas doesn't involve him being a racist, sexist, classist, homophobe because all of those things have proven FINE before now— Rich Hawkins (@RichHawkins) March 10, 2015
Use of 'fracas' over time (it peaks in 1939, which given world events at that time, doesn't bode well for Clarkson) pic.twitter.com/eAc1rRI40u— Felicity Morse (@FelicityMorse) March 10, 2015
Jeremy Clarkson suspended. Sadly, not by his testicles. #Fracas— Annalie (@AnnalieGrogan) March 10, 2015
Beeb totally trolling Clarkson with this "fracas" stuff. "Hey, guys? What's French for 'a fight'?"— Hugo Rifkind (@hugorifkind) March 10, 2015
I'm available. #TopGear— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 10, 2015
WHAT EXACTLY IS A FRACAS?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word fracas comes from the Italian fracassare, which means "to make an uproar" and is first recorded in a British context in 1727.
Jonathon Green, a lexicographer - dictionary maker - who has been publishing writing since the 1970s, said the word fracas conjured up images of "fisticuffs".
He said: "Most people would think it does imply some kind of fisticuffs, it is not just shouting at each other I would imagine.
"I assume it was probably some kind of fist fight. A fracas tends to be some kind of physical confrontation, it suggests something more than a verbal argument.
"You get a fracas between demonstrators and police, or between football supporters. Somebody has probably put a punch on somebody else's nose. I am of course talking generally.
"But it is not to the extent of murderous physical violence. The image I get is of a clash in the street."
While some may think the word is a little old fashioned, Mr Green disagrees.
He said: "It is not a word I particularly use but I don't think it is a particularly old fashioned word.
"It is a good little six letter word. In the days when people worried about column width I think it was quite useful - subeditors could put it in there easily."