Breaking News: Now Jeremy Clarkson lands the BBC in hot water

Jeremy Clarkson, the presenter of Top Gear, has sparked nearly 200 complaints after making a joke about murdering prostitutes.

In a segment on lorry drivers, the 48 year old star said:

“This is a hard job and I’m not just saying that to win favour with lorry drivers, it’s a hard job. Change gear, change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That’s a lot of effort in a day.”

 The quip related to former lorry-driver Steve Wright, who was convicted of killing five sex workers in Ipswich in 2006.

‘Distasteful’

Brian Tobin from the Iceni Project which helped some of the girls killed in Ipswich told PA that he found the comments “distasteful and insensitive”.

“Maybe people on the BBC should think before they say some of the things they keep on coming out with”, he added.

Lorry Drivers’ groups have also expressed outrage.

Kate Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the Road Haulage Association told The Telegraph:

“This is an unacceptable … slur on the character of lorry drivers and the character of the industry, and it is grossly unfair. It’s up to the BBC what action they take against Clarkson but we are certainly demanding an apology over these disgraceful comments.”

Some viewers have also posted comments on the show’s message board expressing their anger.

Most though have praised the programme, which was the first in the new series.

Editorial

The incident is likely to lead to further questioning of the BBC’s editorial standards.

It comes just days after Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand were suspended from Radio 2 for  a prank phone call to Andrew Sachs.

Like Brand’s Radio 2 show, Top Gear is pre-recorded.

The BBC have issued a statement saying:

“The vast majority of Top Gear viewers have clear expectations of Jeremy Clarkson’s long-established and frequently provocative on-screen persona. This particular reference was used to comically exaggerate and make ridiculous an unfair urban myth about the world of lorry driving, and was not intended to cause offence.”

Ofcom has also received complaints about the broadcast and are deciding whether or not to investigate.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Breaking News: Now Jeremy Clarkson lands the BBC in hot water

  1. Paul Barrie

    Steve Wright was of course a FORK Truck driver, but as is so often the case with the media it gets shortened to truck driver. Fork trucks have about much in common with HGV’s or lorries as JCB’s or tractors. With regard to the “murder a prostitute” statement it is more likely he was talking about Peter Sutcliff (Yorkshire Ripper) who was a lorry driver. Kate Gibbs of RTA delivers another ill informed statement.

  2. Kel

    Well, although I can see why it would cause offence, it was just a joke. It was a dark, grim joke, but nonetheless a joke. You have dark jokes in plays, literature, songs and poetry and noone would call them distasteful, so why should Clarkson be penilised? It seems people just want to keep criticising the BBC after the Ross incident. If people can’t take a joke, which wasn’t even very explicit, then perhaps people shouldn’t watch television. I mean I had never heard of the murders until now, so if anything the joke helped to make it more widely knonw, thus instead harming the charity, it has in fact possibly helped by making it more known.

  3. Will P

    I cannot believe how ridiculous some people are being in relation to this. Do these people have nothing better to do than complain about people. Top Gear is a known for its humurous comments and features and this comment by Jeremy was made with no malice and i’m sure no true topgear fan would have had a problem with this. I think its about time we stopped this culture of having the need to complain at everything.

  4. Frankly this is surprising. One would think that, after so many years Top Gear has been airing, people who are easily offended would just NOT watch it!

    This is seriously not the first (and probably not the last) time Jeremy Clarkson has made a comment that could be seen as “insensitive” or “offensive” to someone or the other!

    Which reminds me, I missed this episode, I better catch up!

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