Jeremy Clarkson wasn’t sacked by BBC during ‘n-word’ row because he told bosses he was very sorry, says director-general


Top Gear presenter
believed to have
kept job following boss’
BBC director general Tony
Hall claims the star was
‘absolutely remorseful’
Jeremy Clarkson used what
sounded like the word
n***** during filming
He was recounting the ‘eeny,
meeny, miny, mo’ counting
rhyme off camera
Jeremy Clarkson avoided the sack
during the infamous n-word row
because he was ‘absolutely
remorseful’ about any suggestion
or hint the word had been used,
the BBC director-general says.
The Top Gear presenter caused
outrage in May when unaired
footage showed the 54-year-old
reciting the rhyme ‘eeny, meeny,
miny, mo’ before muttering what
sounded like ‘catch a n***** by
his toe’.
In subsequent days Clarkson took
to Twitter to deny he used the
offensive term, before releasing a
video statement saying he was
‘mortified and horrified’ that it
sounded like he had used racist
Scroll down for video
In a wide-ranging interview, Lord
Tony Hall, the BBC director-general,
has now revealed he had long
discussions about the incident but
Clarkson was not sacked after he
He told The Times : ‘We took it very
seriously and we wanted to make
sure the team knew what we
thought about it.

‘Nothing was broadcast, they were
absolutely remorseful about any
hint that they were saying or doing
anything that was racist.
He then added: ‘There are millions
of people who feel that that Top
Gear… reflects them and their
interests and we’ve got to respect
Clarkson uttered what sounded like
the n-word during filming of the
third episode of Top Gear series 19
as the star reviewed the £25,000
Toyota GT86 and the Subaru BRZ –
which cost around the same

Telling viewers that they may find
it difficult to differentiate between
the two vehicles he demonstrated
how to do it using the child’s
counting rhyme.
The video clip caused outrage and
there were widespread demands he
should be sacked for what was his
latest indiscretion in a series of
Is this the moment Jeremy
Clarkson uses the n-word?

Outspoken Top Gear host Jeremy
Clarkson has been involved in a
string of controversies.
Most recently, he and the Top Gear
team were chased out of Argentina
after angry locals reacted with fury
to Clarkson’s number plate
containing an apparent reference
to the Falklands War.
The H982 FKL plate was seen
locally as a veiled reference to the
1982 conflict. However, the Top
Gear denied their use of it was a
deliberate reference to the war,
and claimed it had simply been a
In July, Ofcom ruled Clarkson
deliberately used racist language
by referring to an Asian man as a
‘slope’ during a Burma special.
The Indian High Commission in
London formally complained to the
BBC in 2012 about a special in
which Clarkson travelled round
India in a Jaguar with a toilet
fixed to the boot.
Clarkson was also reported to have
referred to the then Prime Minister
Gordon Brown as a ‘one-eyed
Scottish idiot’ in 2009.
And the year before, the BBC
received more than 500 complaints
after he joked about lorry drivers
murdering prostitutes.
Clarkson also made a mock Nazi
salute while talking about a Mini
design that might be
‘quintessentially German’ and
received flak after describing those
who jump in front of trains as
‘Johnny Suicides’.
Even deputy Labour leader Harriet
Harman said ‘anybody who used
the word ‘in whatever context’
should have no place at the BBC.
The BBC put the presenter on a
final warning over the controversy
and Clarkson wrote in his
newspaper column that he
believed he would be sacked by
the broadcaster if he made another
offensive remark.
In his remorseful video statement,
he said he was ‘mortified’ and
‘horrified’ the unused footage
appeared to show him mumbling
the word.
He said: ‘I was mortified by this,
horrified, it is a word I loath. And
I did everything in my power to
make sure that that version did
not appear in the programme that
was transmitted.

‘Please be assured I did everything
in my power to not use that word.
‘And as I’m sitting here begging
your forgiveness for that fact that
obviously my efforts weren’t quite
good enough.’


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s