Gobby Jeremy Clarkson stormed into another race row last night after making fun of drowned Chinese cockle pickers.
And his latest outburst came after the Daily Star Sunday discovered he had posed for a snap with the leader of the racist English Defence League.
The 51-year-old was slammed after joking about dead Chinese immigrants in his regular newspaper column. He tastelessly compared synchronised swimmers to the 21 cockle pickers who were killed in rising tides in Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, in 2004.
The Top Gear presenter was last night branded “out of touch” by anti-racism groups. Matt Collins, from Hope Not Hate, said: “Why does Jeremy Clarkson constantly have to be so tasteless and offensive? He is not funny and all he proves is that he is out of touch with modern Britain and that he belongs in the Dark Ages. He has no right to offend communities in this country who live and work here and provide more to Britain than he does.”
The latest outrage came as a picture of Clarkson and far-right English Defence League head Stephen Lennon emerged. Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, claims he talked about Islam with Clarkson.
The 28-year-old convicted thug, who also founded the anti-Islamic movement, said: “He knew who I was. We talked about Islam. I don’t want to say anything else because he will just get stitched up. But I’m a big fan of him.”
The picture is thought to have been taken in September outside a pub in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, where EDL members were holding a meeting.
But last night Jeremy Clarkson said he did not have a clue who Lennon was. He told the Daily Star Sunday: “I have no recollection of talking to this man and have no idea who Stephen Lennon is.”
This is the latest in a long line of scandals involving the TV car fanatic. Before the New Year Clarkson was accused of mocking Indian culture in a Top Gear Christmas special. More than 20 viewers complained to the BBC after he made a series of controversial remarks about the country’s clothing, trains, food and history. At one point Clarkson rode around the country’s worst slums in a Jaguar with a toilet fitted to the boot, joking: “This is perfect because everyone here gets the trots.”
That furore followed an incident on BBC’s The One Show when Clarkson claimed striking public workers should be “executed in front of their families”.
Lennon has previously posed with glamour girl Katie Price and bad boy footballer Joey Barton and claimed that they had joined his group. But both Price and Barton were quick to deny any links with the EDL and claimed they had no idea who Lennon was.
Lennon was convicted of assault in November after headbutting a member of his group during a rally in Blackburn, Lancashire. And in July he was found guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour during a football brawl in August 2010
Thanks to Zaahid for the heads-up