Moscow: Russia`s Zvezda television, a channel run by the defence ministry, unexpectedly revealed Thursday that it has offered a job to disgraced British "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson after he was dropped by the BBC for assaulting his producer.
The state-owned channel, which promotes the armed forces but also airs general entertainment shows, published a letter to Clarkson on its website asking him to host a new motoring show and inviting him to visit Moscow to discuss the offer.
"He will reply. I cannot reply on his behalf," a spokesman for Clarkson named by the channel as Daniel Rix told the channel by telephone.
Zvezda also published on its website an excerpt from an e-mail written by Rix late Wednesday.
It said: "I can only imagine what an episode of Russian vyshaya peredacha (a literal translation of Top Gear into Russian) would look like."
"It could feature a Tzar in a reasonably priced car!" Rix added jokingly, referring to a celebrity feature on the show called "a star in a reasonably priced car."
It wasn`t clear whether Zvezda got the point of Rix`s play on words, since its own translation of the letter was more literal, saying the show could become a "tsar among shows about reasonably priced cars in Russia."
"Possibly he`ll learn a lot of new things about our car industry and will change his mind after becoming a presenter on Zvezda," it said optimistically.
Top Gear draws more than 350 million viewers around the world and is popular in Russia, where the show airs on state television. A licensed Russian local version ran for a while but did not prove a hit. Clarkson has visited Russia to film the programme and present roadshows for fans.