Entertainment News

  • 7 May 2014, 13:20

Top Gear Investigated Over Jeremy Clarkson Joke

The motoring show Top Gear is being investigated by the communications watchdog Ofcom to see if an episode that caused a race row breached broadcasting guidelines.

In the episode filmed in Burma and Thailand and shown in March, the BBC show's presenters build 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."

The Ofcom probe will decide whether the clip counted as a breach of "content standards".

Actress Somi Guha, who complained to the BBC at the time, said it was an example of "casual racism" that should amount to "gross misconduct".

Andy Wilman, an executive producer on the BBC2 show, later apologised for broadcasting the "light-hearted" remark.

He said: "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, Clarkson, who has more than three million followers on Twitter, tweeted: "I'm not a racist. I am currently sitting in a bar with a man who lives quite near Wales."

He caused further controversy last week when it was claimed he used the n-word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe.

Clarkson said he "mumbled" when he got to the offensive word in two takes, and then used "teacher" in its place in a third.

He apologised and said he had been given a final warning about his behaviour by the BBC.

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