Clarkson 'Begs For Forgiveness' In Racism Row
Jeremy Clarkson has said he was "horrified" that it sounded as though he used racist language while filming a Top Gear episode.
The presenter has now appeared in a video posted on Twitter where he responded to claims he used the n-word while reciting a nursery rhyme "a couple of years ago".
A solemn-looking Clarkson said he had made every effort to make sure he did not use the slur, but realised it might have sounded as though he had.
He said when reciting the rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe..., he "mumbled where the offensive word would normally occur" in two takes, and used the word "teacher" in its place in a third.
He said he had seen the footage several weeks later.
And, referring to one of the "mumbled versions", he added: "If you listen very carefully with the sound turned right up, it did appear I actually used the word I was trying to obscure."
Clarkson went on: "I was mortified by this, horrified. It is a word I loathe.
"I did everything in my power to make sure that that version did not appear in the programme that was transmitted."
Clarkson said he sent a note to the production office at the time, asking if there was another take that could be used.
He told his Twitter followers: "Please be assured I did everything in my power to not use that word."
The presenter continued: "And as I'm sitting here begging your forgiveness for the fact that obviously my efforts weren't quite good enough."
The segment was later edited out of the BBC broadcast.
Earlier on Thursday, Clarkson tweeted: "I did not use the n-word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time", referring to allegations in the newspaper.
His co-host, James May, came to his defence on Twitter, saying: "Jeremy Clarkson is not a racist.
"He is a monumental bellend and many other things, but not a racist. I wouldn't work with one."
In a statement, the BBC said: "Jeremy Clarkson has set out the background to this regrettable episode.
"We have made it absolutely clear to him the standards the BBC expects on-air and off. We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this."