Jeremy Clarkson racism claims: Ofcom launches investigation into 'slope' comment

The Top Gear host faces even further troubles

Ofcom is now officially investigating a recent episode of Top Gear, in which Jeremy Clarkson was accused of racism.

The presenter used a derogatory term used to describe those of Asian descent during the Burma Special which aired on BBC2 in March.

The BBC later apologised, but Ofcom is now examining whether or not the comment violated its “content standards”.

If the show is found to have breached rules, the regulator can impose sanctions, from a correction or statement to a fine of up to £250,000.

The contentious comment took place after the Top Gear hosts built a bridge over the River Kwai on the border of Thailand and Burma.

 

Clarkson commented on the structure: “That is a proud moment. But there's a slope on it” – just as an Asian man walked over the bridge.

The comment caused a backlash from viewers, many of whom called for Clarkson to be sacked. The BBC apologised for the incident, describing it as “a light-hearted wordplay 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,” said Top Gear producer Andy Wilman.

”If we had known that at the time we would not have broadcast the word in this context and regret any offence caused.“

Last week, Clarkson was again accused of racism following the release of an unaired clip from Top Gear.

In the video, the presenter is seen to mutter the word 'n****r' while reciting a children’s nursery rhyme 'Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe' to decide between two cars.

The BBC reprimanded the 54-year-old, telling him that if he makes “one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked”. He issued a grovelling video clip, in which he begged for forgiveness.

His personal life is also reportedly suffering. Clarkson’s wife and manager, Frances Clarkson, is said to be divorcing him, following a string of infidelity rumours, of which he has stringently denied.

She has declined to comment on the reports, but his former wife Alex Hall yesterday commented that the presenter’s current spouse deserves “every penny she gets”.

Read more: Is this the end for Jeremy Clarkson?
CLARKSON CALLS HIS BLACK DOG DIDIER DOGBA
Watch: Clarkson beg for forgiveness over racism claims
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created