BBC issues apology over Jeremy Clarkson's Top Gear 'slope' remarks

Comments came during Thailand special

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The Independent Culture

At least 65 per cent of BBC time is spent putting out Jeremy Clarkson's fires it seems, the latest being a remark he made about an Asian man during an episode of Top Gear.

The finale of the last series of the motoring show saw Clarkson and co-host Richard Hammond build a makeshift bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand.

Admiring their work, Clarkson said as an Asian man walked towards the bridge: "That is a proud moment - but there's a slope on it," using a word that can be employed as a derogatory term.

Top Gear executive producer issued an apology over the comments yesterday, saying: "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."

Clarkson caused more controversy, as he so reliably does, last month, when he made a joke about the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappearance on Twitter.