Click on image for full-sizeJeremy Clarkson has found himself at the centre of an alleged racism row after appearing to mock Indian culture during the Top Gear Christmas special.
The outspoken TV presenter mouthed off about the country’s food, clothing, toilets, trains and history in a series of ‘Carry On’ style jibes. The 51-year-old host prompted a flood of complaints as he was shown stripping his trousers off and claiming he used a trouser press to heat naan bread. He then mocked the country’s sanitary conditions by driving around slums in a Jaguar fitted with a toilet, joking: “This is perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots.”
A BBC spokeswoman confirmed that they have already received eight complaints accusing the show of racism. She reportedly said: “If viewers or religious groups want to complain, they can complain to the BBC. We won’t be responding through the media.”
The racism row set Twitter on fire as furious viewers branded Clarkson a “Nazi” and condemned the show’s “casual racism”. One viewer posted: “Just watched top gear India Special. A new low for the bbc. Sickeningly base. Borderline racist stereotyping. And just not very good.”
Another added: “Whats wrong with the BBC that they think casual racist stereotyping is acceptable on top gear?”
The BBC has also been slammed after it aired the programme on Wednesday, just two days after the murder of Indian student Anuj Bidve in Salford. Raj Dhutta, of Manchester Indian Association, reportedly said: “The Manchester community is in shock at the murder of Anuj, and this was tasteless timing. The show itself was also tasteless. These are perceptions that shouldn’t be picked up anywhere.”
The Top Gear presenters also found themselves in trouble with stunts on board Indian trains. Clarkson and co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May attached banners to the trains which read “British IT is good for your company” and “Eat English muffins”. However when the carriages split, the banners ripped to reveal rude messages.
Earlier this year Top Gear was embroiled in another racism row when Richard Hammond, 42, branded Mexicans “lazy”, “feckless” and “flatulent” when comparing the country to a Mexican sports car.