Entertainment News

  • 1 May 2014, 19:37

Jeremy Clarkson Denies 'N-Word' On Top Gear

Jeremy Clarkson has denied using the 'n-word' during the filming of Top Gear after he was accused of saying it as part of a children's nursery rhyme.

The Daily Mirror reported that the star used racist language while filming an episode of the motoring show, although it was later edited out of a BBC broadcast.

But Clarkson wrote on Twitter: "I did not use the n word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time."

The paper claimed the footage had been studied by "audio forensic experts" who told them the star "can be heard chanting, 'Eeny, meeny, miny moe...' before mumbling 'Catch a n****r by his toe"'.

According the Mirror, Clarkson made the comment while trying to decide between two cars that were very similar. The episode, without the comment, was eventually shown by the BBC in February 2013.

The broadcaster said it was investigating.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We've seen the story, the Mirror didn't approach us, clearly we'll establish the facts before commenting."

Meanwhile, Clarkson's Top Gear co-host, James May, came to his defence on Twitter, saying he is "many other things, but not a racist. I wouldn't work with one."

It comes days after a producer of the show apologised for a "light-hearted" joke made by Mr Clarkson that sparked a complaint of racism.

An episode of the show filmed in Burma and Thailand, and shown in March, featured a scene in which the presenters built a bridge over the River Kwai.

As an Asian man walked over it Clarkson said: "That is a proud moment, but there's a slope on it."

Somi Guha, an actress who complained to the BBC, said the use of the phrase was an example of "casual racism" and should amount to "gross misconduct".

Top Gear's executive producer, Andy Wilman, said: "When we used the word slope in the recent Top Gear Burma Special it was a light-hearted word play joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it.

"We were not aware at the time, and it has subsequently been brought to our attention, that the word slope is considered by some to be offensive and although it might not be widely recognised in the UK, we appreciate that it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas, for example in Australia and the USA.

"If we had known that at the time we would not have broadcast the word in this context and regret any offence caused."

In response to that accusation of racism, Mr Clarkson, who has 3.3 million followers, tweeted on March 28: "I'm not a racist. I am currently sitting in a bar with a man who lives quite near Wales."

Clarkson has a record of courting controversy - he was cleared of breaching the broadcasting code by watchdog Ofcom after comparing a Japanese car to people with growths on their faces.

He faced a storm of protest from mental health charities after he branded people who throw themselves under trains as "selfish" and was forced to apologise for telling theBBC's The One Show that striking workers should be shot.

Indian and Mexican politicians have also complained about remarks made about their countries while filming on location.

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