BBC’s Top Gear slammed by Ofcom after Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘special needs’ joke

October 26, 2010 | by | 1 Comment

Top Gear has been criticised by Ofcom after host Jeremy Clarkson compared a Ferrari’s appearance to “a simpleton” on the hit BBC2 motoring show.

BBC’s Top Gear slammed by Ofcom after Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘special needs’ joke

In an episode of the show broadcast in August, Clarkson was reviewing the new Ferrari 458 Italia and comparing the car’s looks to other models from the Italian company.

The outspoken 50-year-old described modern Ferraris as “striking – yes, but pretty – no”.

He then added: “This one for example is just vulgar, and even James’ Ferrari was a bit wrong

“That smiling front end – it looked like a simpleton – should have been called the F430 Speciale Needs”.

Two viewers complained to Ofcom about Clarkson’s comments about the car, which was correctly known as the Ferrari F430 Especial.

In a statement, the media regulator said: “Ofcom recognises discriminatory language of this nature has the potential to be very offensive to some viewers, as it could be seen to single out certain sections of society in a derogatory way because of their disability.

“In Ofcom’s view, the comments made by Jeremy Clarkson in this instance were capable of causing offence.”

“In particular, on this occasion he was clearly criticising the car’s physical appearance by directly comparing it to ‘a simpleton’ and saying it should have been called ‘430 Speciale Needs.’”

BBC’s Top Gear slammed by Ofcom after Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘special needs’ joke

The media regulator stopped short of taking any action after the BBC took “immediate steps” in response to viewers’ complaints and removed the comments from the repeat of the show and online.

Clarkson has been in hot water on a number of occasions with his controversial comments, in one instance describing former Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”.

Motoring Articles

Supercars at the 2010 Paris Motor Show

Gordon Ramsay snapped in Ferrari 458

Student has supercar collection worth £4.5 million

Eleventh Ferrari 458 incident: that’s five in 11 days

Ten Ferrari 458 Italias crashed or gutted by fire

Famous McLaren F1 involved in three car collision

Supercar-driving playboys slammed by Knightsbridge residents

Harrods owners have their supercars clamped outside store

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: News

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Meh says:

    As much as I dislike Clarkson – which is quite a lot – TWO people complained and this is a story? Pah, get a grip. Some people are just far too overly sensitive. And I bet the people who complained had nothing to do with anyone with “special needs”.
    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to be offended by JC but this isn’t really one of them.
    Also, Gordon brown is one-eyed and Scottish and an idiot – JC was just stating fact not insulting anyone.

Add your comment

Libellous and abusive comments are not allowed. Please read our House Rules

For information about privacy and cookies please read our Privacy Policy