I couldn't agree more with the general tone of this thread.
I'm all for people been able to have their say about BBC shows (within reason), but if the fallout of this and the Ross/Brand issue isn't handled correctly, then we run the risk of ending up in a situation where people feel they can become armchair channel controllers, abusing the feedback system to remove shows or people they simply don't like rather than to voice any genuine concerns or dislikes.
Clarkson has made similar jokes (and people who complained would do well to remember that that's all they are-jokes) on several occasions in the past, with little or no fuss happening at the time, (as have many other people in other situations, be they comedians or not).
Now no doubt there would have been a few complaints made at the time, but all would have been dealt with and investigated, and the rest of us would have heard nothing about it.
Now all of a sudden, just after the Radio 2 band wagon has rolled out of town, people are jumping at the chance to complain about something that clearly didn't bother them before...a coincidence?..well I don't think so.
There were an initial fifty complaints-certainly not enough to have been newsworthy six weeks ago-and then all of a sudden, after the press decide to write up about it, that figure goes up to five hundred.
...so that's at least four hundred and fifty people complaining about something they didn't see and therefore have no right to complain about, what a surprise.
Top Gear is made for the people who watch it, not the people who don't, and if the seven million-plus home audience (and estimated two hundred and fifty million audience worldwide) like it the way it is, then there is no reason for the people who make it to change anything for a tiny number who don't.