TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson has said comments he made last week criticising the BBC were meant as a joke.

The Top Gear host gave an expletive-filled description of the corporation’s bosses while at a charity event in London on Thursday.

An investigation into the 54-year-old’s current suspension following a “fracas” with a producer is still ongoing.

But writing in the Sunday Times, Clarkson said his comments were “all meant in jest”.

He said his “choice language” was to help boost the price of his auction item – a lap of the Top Gear test track.

“By being brief, controversial and a bit sweary, I woke the room up and the auction prize I was offering… raised £100,000,” he said.

Clarkson’s comments at the Roundhouse Gala were made more widely public on Friday after a video of the event was posted online.

During his speech, the presenter also suggested he expected to be “sacked” by the BBC, auctioning what he described as his “last lap” on the race track.

In his newspaper column on Sunday, he appeared to further hint he was no longer working for the corporation writing: “I used to work on a television show called Top Gear.”