Now ex-host of the popular auto show Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson has long been known for his sharp tongue, which, they say, you can even shave.
Photo Vide chosen for you: The BBC presenter’s big mouth has got him into trouble on numerous occasions – here are some of his most outspoken comments.
His opinionated but humorous tongue-in-cheek writing and presenting style has often provoked public reaction. His actions both privately and as a Top Gear presenter have also sometimes resulted in criticism from the media, politicians, pressure groups and the public. He has also garnered a significant public following, being credited as a major factor in the resurgence of Top Gear as one of the most popular shows on the BBC.
Jeremy Clarkson’s Biggest Controversies in Quotes – Top Gear:
Lorry driver ‘joke’ (November 2008)
While driving a lorry: “What matters to lorry drivers? Murdering prostitutes? Fuel economy?” He added: “This is a hard job [driving a lorry] and I’m not just saying this to win favour with lorry drivers: change gear; change gear; change gear; check your mirrors; murder a prostitute … ” Media watchdog Ofcom cleared Clarkson, ruling that the comments were justified by the context in which they were made.
Calls Gordon Brown “a one-eyed idiot’ (February 2009)
Comparing Gordon Brown to Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd: “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a world leader [Rudd] admit we really are in deep shit. He genuinely looked terrified. Poor man, he’s actually seen the books. We have this one-eyed Scottish idiot who keeps telling us everything’s fine and he’s saved the world and we know he’s lying, but he’s smooth at telling us.” Clarkson personally apologised to the then prime minister.
‘TV obsessed with hiring black Muslim lesbians’ (October 2009)
Clarkson told Top Gear magazine: “The problem is that television executives have got it into their heads that if one presenter on a show is a blond-haired, blue-eyed heterosexual boy, the other must be a black Muslim lesbian. Chalk and cheese, they reckon, works. But here we have Top Gear setting new records after six years using cheese and cheese. It confuses them.”
Burka comments (July 2010)
On distractions when driving: “Honestly, the burka doesn’t work. I was in a cab in Piccadilly the other day when a woman in a full burka crossing the road in front of me tripped over the pavement, went head over heels and up it came, red G-string and stockings.”
‘Special needs’ jibe (October 2010)
On the Ferrari F430 Speciale: “it was a bit wrong … that smiling front end … it looked like a simpleton … [it] should have been called the 430 Speciale Needs”.
Mexico insults (February 2011)
Richard Hammond joked that Mexican cars reflected national characteristics, saying they were “just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat”. May described Mexican food as “like sick with cheese on it”. Clarkson predicted they would not get any complaints because “at the Mexican embassy, the ambassador is going to be sitting there with a remote control like this [snores]. They won’t complain, it’s fine.” The BBC was forced to apologise to the Mexican ambassador but also defended the show’s presenters, saying national stereotyping was part of British humour.
George Michael jibe (July 2011)
In a review of a Jaguar XKR-S: “It’s very fast and very, very loud. And then in the corners it will get its tail out more readily than George Michael.” In response, the singer branded Clarkson “homophobic” and “pig ugly”.
The One Show rant (November 2011)
On public sector workers taking part in a 24-hour strike: “I’d have them all shot. I would have them taken outside and executed them in front of their families.” Some 31,000 people complained and the BBC was later forced to apologise.
Indian incident (January 2012)
While driving a Jaguar around an Indian slum with a toilet fitted in the boot: “This is perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots.” He also made jokes about Indian clothes, trains and even the country’s history.
Thai ‘slope’ controversy (March 2014)
As a man walked towards himself and Richard Hammond on a Thai bridge, 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.” Media watchdog Ofcom found that Clarkson had deliberately used an “offensive racial term” that caused offence and breached broadcasting rules.
The ‘N-word’ row (May 2014)
In a Top Gear outtake, Clarkson recited the beginning of the children’s nursery rhyme “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” before apparently mumbling: “Catch a nigger by his toe.” He later wrote in the Sun: “I’ve been told by the BBC that if I make one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked.”
Liverpool comments (February 2015)
In a Sunday Times column about the city: “People up there earn less, die more quickly, have fewer jobs and live in houses that are worth the square root of sod all.”