Jeremy Clarkson defends accusations of racism on ‘Top Gear’

Footage of host using racial slur is revealed online

Jeremy Clarkson has defended himself against accusations of racism after a tape of him using a racial slur was released online.

The Top Gear host is alleged to have used the word “n*gger” during an unaired clip of the BB2 show, taken from episode 3 of series 19, in 2013. The Mirror claims to have video footage of Clarkson using the word while reciting an old children’s nursery rhyme.

In response to the tabloid rumours, Clarkson released a video statement in which he claims he was “extremely keen to avoid” using the racist term when reciting the “eenie, meanie” rhyme and mumbled the offensive word twice while filming the scene. He adds that he asked the production team to leave the footage out of the final episode, which they did.

“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 up it did appear that I’d actually used the word I was trying to obscure,” Clarkson says. “I was mortified by this, horrified by this. It is a word I loathe.”

Clarkson’s fellow Top Gear presenters have defended him, with James May describing him as “a monumental bellend” and Richard Hammond tweeting: “I can list a million things wrong with him, but he is absolutely not racist. An idiot, yes.”

The BBC has confirmed it will investigate the incident.