Scores of viewers angry at Tuesday's 'drive-by shooting' of the Stig on the first of two Top Gear Christmas specials have apparently been registering their disgust with the BBC and Ofcom following the show's screening.

The scenes, which formed part of a US challenge for the presenters, have been attacked as insensitive by fans.

The BBC admitted today that there had been a 'considerable number' of complaints about the show, and a spokesman for industry regulator Ofcom said that it too had been contacted and would be investigating in due course.

Numerous references were made to the Stig during the show, controversially outed as Ben Collins following a court case to have his autobiography published. James May referred to him as 'Judas Iscariot'.

The incident was one of a number of challenges the presenters received during the show, and featured the presenters firing live ammunition at a cardboard cut-out of the Stig and gaining points for hitting it.

The show is no stranger to controversy, much of which is carefully contrived in order to gain publicity. The second of the two Top Gear Christmas specials takes place on Boxing Day on BBC2.