14062013 James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond. The Top Gear trio have jetted into Durban ahead of the Festival weekend. Checking out Moses Mabhida Stadium where the festival is being held. Picture: Jacques Naude

London - The BBC breached broadcasting rules by allowing Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson to deliberately use a racist term, UK television regulator Ofcom announced on Monday.

Ofcom rejected producers’ claims that his use of the word “slope” was a “light-hearted joke.”

In the Burma Special episode, shown in March, presenters Richard Hammond, James May and Clarkson built a temporary bridge over the River Kwai. Just before they had to drive trucks over the finished bridge, and as a local man appeared in shot, Clarkson said, ‘That is a proud moment, but there’s a slope on it.’ Hammond replied: ‘You’re right, it’s definitely higher on that side.’

Ofcom ruled that slope was an offensive racial term which was deliberately used and had been scripted in advance. It comes three months after Clarkson, 54, apologised over his use of the word ****** in a TV out-take.