Leading article: Reverse gear

What A predictable dance. Last Sunday, the BBC's Top Gear team attempted to provoke by citing some tired old stereotypes about Mexicans. The Mexican ambassador duly took offence and wrote to the BBC to demand an apology. Yesterday the BBC issued an apology. And now everything will calm down. Until the next outbreak of offended fury, that is.

Must things play out this way? Top Gear should grow up. The Mexican government, and any other state that finds itself on the receiving end of such pathetic humour, should rise above it. And the BBC should not go through the charade of apologising for output that it clearly does not regret broadcasting.

Alas, when it comes to international broadcasting rows, intolerance and hypocrisy are the only common language.