Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May co-host Top Gear. Photo: BBC
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May co-host Top Gear. Photo: BBC

Top Gear under review after racial slurs

THE BBC is investigating the culture of Top Gear after Jeremy Clarkson was given his final warning for using offensive language.

Danny Cohen, director of television, ordered an internal review of the hit motoring series' practices, following complaints about racism.

Co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May were also questioned, as was executive producer Andy Wilman.

The investigation is understood to be exploring whether people involved in Top Gear are afraid of speaking out against things they might find offensive, the Guardian reports.

Last month, TV watchdog Ofcom found that the Burma special had breached broadcasting rules in March by featuring a racial slur.

Clarkson sparked outrage when he looked at a bridge with a local Asian man walking over it and said: "There's a slope on it".

BBC producers brushed off the remark as "light-hearted wordplay" but apologised for the upset.

Clarkson, 54, also came under fire and nearly lost his job for mumbling a racist version of children's counting rhyme "Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe" in an unaired clip.

The presenter released a video apology assuring fans that he was "mortified" by any offence caused by his actions and begging for their forgiveness.

Recently, Clarkson named his black dog Didier Dogba after Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba, and in 2011 he said his TV's energy-saving setting made shows look like they were "presented by Lenny Henry in a cave".

Findings from the recent June report are being kept private and it is believed that only a couple of individuals have access to them.

The BBC declined to comment on the investigation.

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