London, England - Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has denied allegations that he was caught on camera using the n-word during filming of the hit BBC series.
In unaired footage the 54-year-old presenter was heard reciting the rhyme “eeny, meeny, miny, mo” before apparently muttering “catch a n****r by his toe”.
The allegations, reported in the UK’s Mirror newspaper, come just weeks after Clarkson was accused of racism after referring to a “slope” on a bridge in an episode filmed in Thailand.
But on Thursday Clarkson took to Twitter to deny the allegations, telling his 3.29 million followers: “I did not use the n word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time.”
According to the Mirror, Clarkson uttered the n-word during filming of the third episode of Top Gear series 19 as he reviewed the Toyota GT86 and the Subaru BRZ.
Telling viewers that they may find it difficult to differentiate between the two vehicles, he demonstrated how to do it using the child’s counting rhyme. Audio forensic experts studied the clip and confirmed to the newspaper that, in their view, Clarkson had used the word.
In the version of the show which aired in February 2013 he was heard to say “teacher”.
Legal experts have said that if the presenter used the n-word, he could have breached equality legislation, depending on the context in which the word was used and whether a crew member had been offended by what was said.
Clarkson was also accused of racism after he tweeted a picture of his black West Highland terrier and revealed he had named it after Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba.
Last week, the executive producer of Top Gear admitted Clarkson had called an Asian man a “slope” when he joked about the construction of a bridge in Thailand during an episode.
There was an outcry when he used the word, a derogatory term for people of Asian descent, during the show’s two-part Myanmar special, screened in March.
Producer Andy Wilman said he regretted the “light-hearted” wordplay and realised “it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas”.
On Thursday James May tweeted his support for his colleague.
After news of the controversy broke, May – also known as Captain Slow – wrote: “Jeremy Clarkson is not a racist. He is a monumental bellend and many other things, but not a racist. I wouldn’t work with one.”
He then used the hashtag #ThatIsAll to make his point.
"I WAS MORTIFIED"
In a video on his Twitter account, Clarkson said: "Ordinarily, I don’t respond to newspaper allegations, but on this occasion I feel I must make an exception.
" A couple of years ago I recorded an item for Top Gear on which I recorded the rhyme ‘eeny, meeny, miny, mo’. Now of course, I was well aware that in the best known version of this rhyme there is a racist expression that I was extremely keen to avoid.
"The full rushes show that I did three takes. In two, I mumbled where the offensive word normally occur, and in the third, I replaced it altogether with the word teacher.
"When I viewed this footage several weeks later I realised that in one of the mumbled versions, if you listened very carefully with the sound turned right up, it did appear I’d actually used the word I was trying to obscure.
"I was mortified by this. Horrified. It is a word I loathe, and I did everything in my power to make sure that version did not appear in the programme transmitted.
"In fact I have here the note I sent at the time to the production office. It says 'I didn’t use the *-word here, but I’ve just listened though my headphones and it sounds like I did. Is there another take that we could use?'
"Please be assured I did everything in my power not to use that word, and I’m sitting here, begging your forgiveness for the fact that obviously my efforts weren’t quite good enough. Thank you."
HOW HE HAS LANDED HIMSELF IN TROUBLE BEFORE
April 2014: Named his black terrier Didier Dogba after the Ivory Coast footballer.
At the time he asked: “Why is it racist to name our amazingly brilliant dog after a footballer?”
March 2014: Joked a bridge with an Asian man walking across it had a “slope on it’.
His Top Gear producer Andy Wilman claimed Clarkson did not realise it was an offensive term.
January 2012: Made a series of derogatory remarks about India and ridiculed the sanitation for its poor by driving around slums in a Jaguar fitted with a toilet.
January 2012: Compared synchronised swimming with the deaths of 23 Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay in 2004.
July 2011: Said his new TV’s energy-saving setting made it seem as if programmes were being “presented by Lenny Henry in a cave”.
February 2011: Joked about Mexicans, prompting a complaint by the Mexican ambassador to the UK.
August 2010: Attacked by disability charities after he said the F430 Speciale car should be called “Speciale needs”.
October 2009: Accused TV producers of being fixated with having “black Muslim lesbians” on programmes.
February 2009: Described Gordon Brown as a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”.
April 2007: Deriding a car made in Malaysia he suggested it was built by “jungle people who wear leaves as shoes”.
December 2005: Gave a Nazi salute while presenting a piece about BMW. Said its satnav “only goes to Poland”. - Daily Mail
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