BBC boss warns Clarkson over gaffes

Top Gear was criticised by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules over a ''racial'' term used by Jeremy Clarkson

Top Gear was criticised by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules over a ''racial'' term used by Jeremy Clarkson

First published in National News © by

BBC TV boss Danny Cohen has warned Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson that "no one person is bigger than the BBC" after a series of headline-making gaffes by the star.

Mr Cohen ordered an internal investigation into the hit show after a string of controversies saw it criticised by communications watchdog Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules over a ''racial'' term used by Clarkson.

The regulator decided the comment, made by the star during the programme's Burma special screened in March, was offensive.

That came just three months after Clarkson was caught up in another racism row after unaired footage from the programme came to light in which he appeared to use the n-word.

Appearing on Richard Bacon's show on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Cohen said he had had several "frank" conversations with Clarkson but refused to say whether the star was on a final warning.

He said: "I've been very clear with what I think is acceptable on the BBC, I've been very clear that no one person is bigger than the BBC."

Asked about the n-word incident, Mr Cohen said: "R egardless of it being on television or not I don't want that stuff going on when we are on production, when you're representing the BBC."

In a letter to the Guardian earlier this month, Mr Cohen said he disagreed with Clarkson's language but insisted the under-fire Top Gear host was not "racist".

The show - and Clarkson - have landed in trouble before. An episode filmed in India was criticised by Indian diplomats and the BBC had to apologise to the Mexican ambassador after remarks made by Clarkson and co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond.

Clarkson was also criticised by mental health charities after he branded people who throw themselves under trains as ''selfish'' and was forced to apologise for telling BBC1's The One Show that striking workers should be shot.

Comments (11)

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4:57pm Thu 21 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

They aren't 'gaffes'.

They are jokes based on what millions perceive to be stereotypes.

If the BBC is claiming that it doesn't consider JC to be racist, why is it making such a fuss over some racist comments?

I suspect that the BBC is terrified of losing its top earner but wants to be seen to be doing something following complaints.

In other news, Jonathon Ross is back at the BBC.
They aren't 'gaffes'. They are jokes based on what millions perceive to be stereotypes. If the BBC is claiming that it doesn't consider JC to be racist, why is it making such a fuss over some racist comments? I suspect that the BBC is terrified of losing its top earner but wants to be seen to be doing something following complaints. In other news, Jonathon Ross is back at the BBC. notslimjim
  • Score: 5

6:01pm Thu 21 Aug 14

welshmen says...

Lenny Henry want's Jezza's job, thing is Lenny's not as funny as Jezza....if the BBC sack him other TV companies will pay a lot more for him....
Lenny Henry want's Jezza's job, thing is Lenny's not as funny as Jezza....if the BBC sack him other TV companies will pay a lot more for him.... welshmen
  • Score: 1

8:28pm Thu 21 Aug 14

TheCaveman says...

The BBC - "When we want your opinion we'll give it to you" - JC is entertaining and often spot on with public opinion, no wonder the taxpayer funded BBC want an excuse to get rid of him......
The BBC - "When we want your opinion we'll give it to you" - JC is entertaining and often spot on with public opinion, no wonder the taxpayer funded BBC want an excuse to get rid of him...... TheCaveman
  • Score: 2

8:52pm Thu 21 Aug 14

H.J.Harris says...

Jeremy Clarkson has earned a lot more money for the BBC than Danny Cohen has or ever will.
These "gaffes" are largely newspaper driven balderdash.
Jeremy Clarkson has earned a lot more money for the BBC than Danny Cohen has or ever will. These "gaffes" are largely newspaper driven balderdash. H.J.Harris
  • Score: 3

8:21am Fri 22 Aug 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

I think the BBC needs to examine its own evidently institutionally homophobic prejudices as well and ask themselves just why - despite repeated requests to do so - they will still not feature same-sex dancing couples on their primetime, flagship show Strictly, each time churning out the pathetic 'excuse' that it might alienate a minority of the viewing public who happen to be bigots.
I think the BBC needs to examine its own evidently institutionally homophobic prejudices as well and ask themselves just why - despite repeated requests to do so - they will still not feature same-sex dancing couples on their primetime, flagship show Strictly, each time churning out the pathetic 'excuse' that it might alienate a minority of the viewing public who happen to be bigots. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 1

10:48am Fri 22 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
I think the BBC needs to examine its own evidently institutionally homophobic prejudices as well and ask themselves just why - despite repeated requests to do so - they will still not feature same-sex dancing couples on their primetime, flagship show Strictly, each time churning out the pathetic 'excuse' that it might alienate a minority of the viewing public who happen to be bigots.
Perhaps because such dance couples would revolt the nation?

Even heteros who support gay rights etc would be outraged at seeing such a thing.

HTH
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: I think the BBC needs to examine its own evidently institutionally homophobic prejudices as well and ask themselves just why - despite repeated requests to do so - they will still not feature same-sex dancing couples on their primetime, flagship show Strictly, each time churning out the pathetic 'excuse' that it might alienate a minority of the viewing public who happen to be bigots.[/p][/quote]Perhaps because such dance couples would revolt the nation? Even heteros who support gay rights etc would be outraged at seeing such a thing. HTH notslimjim
  • Score: 0

11:17am Fri 22 Aug 14

Rita Jelfs says...

Jeremy Clarkson is a silly old white male 'redneck', who has been left behind. What other country would take this misfit. He reflects the attitude of older people who refuse to adjust to a modern world, where they're no longer the centre of the universe. Companies eventually have to retire these old dinosaurs. The BBC's not leading, just reflecting the nation.
Jeremy Clarkson is a silly old white male 'redneck', who has been left behind. What other country would take this misfit. He reflects the attitude of older people who refuse to adjust to a modern world, where they're no longer the centre of the universe. Companies eventually have to retire these old dinosaurs. The BBC's not leading, just reflecting the nation. Rita Jelfs
  • Score: -2

11:53am Fri 22 Aug 14

welshmen says...

Racist Rita Jelfs says: Kill all old white red-necks who don't adjust to the flood of everybody from anywhere coming to our country uninvited, we and our ancestors fought and died for what this idiot has today, this young idiot need's to respect the people of this Country who made many sacrifices unlike those who gob off on here.

Just imagine, what if all British white red necks just pack up and go to a black Country uninvited and tell them they have to adjust to our Culture or be called racist in their own Country...Great Briton is a Christian based white Country, other Nationals and Cultures who come here have to fit into our Culture or don't come here, your not invited.

The only people I know who were invited and welcomed by the British were immigrants from the Caribbean ( Wind-rush), we didn't invited Asians or their religion but they still come here to change our Culture to theirs, just like the idiot Rita Jelfs expects the British to change for foreigners, well hell will have to freeze over before that will happen, don't like our culture move out...your not wanted....or go back to your own country and make that how you want it....
Racist Rita Jelfs says: Kill all old white red-necks who don't adjust to the flood of everybody from anywhere coming to our country uninvited, we and our ancestors fought and died for what this idiot has today, this young idiot need's to respect the people of this Country who made many sacrifices unlike those who gob off on here. Just imagine, what if all British white red necks just pack up and go to a black Country uninvited and tell them they have to adjust to our Culture or be called racist in their own Country...Great Briton is a Christian based white Country, other Nationals and Cultures who come here have to fit into our Culture or don't come here, your not invited. The only people I know who were invited and welcomed by the British were immigrants from the Caribbean ( Wind-rush), we didn't invited Asians or their religion but they still come here to change our Culture to theirs, just like the idiot Rita Jelfs expects the British to change for foreigners, well hell will have to freeze over before that will happen, don't like our culture move out...your not wanted....or go back to your own country and make that how you want it.... welshmen
  • Score: 3

1:07pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

notslimjim wrote:
Katie Re-Registered wrote:
I think the BBC needs to examine its own evidently institutionally homophobic prejudices as well and ask themselves just why - despite repeated requests to do so - they will still not feature same-sex dancing couples on their primetime, flagship show Strictly, each time churning out the pathetic 'excuse' that it might alienate a minority of the viewing public who happen to be bigots.
Perhaps because such dance couples would revolt the nation?

Even heteros who support gay rights etc would be outraged at seeing such a thing.

HTH
If heterosexuals can be 'outraged' merely at the sight of something so harmless as two people of the same-sex dancing together then heteros must be really delicate fragile little flowers indeed. Is being heterosexual really built on such a flimsy and insecure foundation that a little thing like this could suddenly send it into such utter turmoil?
[quote][p][bold]notslimjim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: I think the BBC needs to examine its own evidently institutionally homophobic prejudices as well and ask themselves just why - despite repeated requests to do so - they will still not feature same-sex dancing couples on their primetime, flagship show Strictly, each time churning out the pathetic 'excuse' that it might alienate a minority of the viewing public who happen to be bigots.[/p][/quote]Perhaps because such dance couples would revolt the nation? Even heteros who support gay rights etc would be outraged at seeing such a thing. HTH[/p][/quote]If heterosexuals can be 'outraged' merely at the sight of something so harmless as two people of the same-sex dancing together then heteros must be really delicate fragile little flowers indeed. Is being heterosexual really built on such a flimsy and insecure foundation that a little thing like this could suddenly send it into such utter turmoil? Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 0

11:28am Sat 23 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
notslimjim wrote:
Katie Re-Registered wrote:
I think the BBC needs to examine its own evidently institutionally homophobic prejudices as well and ask themselves just why - despite repeated requests to do so - they will still not feature same-sex dancing couples on their primetime, flagship show Strictly, each time churning out the pathetic 'excuse' that it might alienate a minority of the viewing public who happen to be bigots.
Perhaps because such dance couples would revolt the nation?

Even heteros who support gay rights etc would be outraged at seeing such a thing.

HTH
If heterosexuals can be 'outraged' merely at the sight of something so harmless as two people of the same-sex dancing together then heteros must be really delicate fragile little flowers indeed. Is being heterosexual really built on such a flimsy and insecure foundation that a little thing like this could suddenly send it into such utter turmoil?
People know what they don't like. It's nothing to do with with being delicate, and the very notion that such a sight threatens in some way their own sexuality is too ridiculous to contemplate.
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]notslimjim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: I think the BBC needs to examine its own evidently institutionally homophobic prejudices as well and ask themselves just why - despite repeated requests to do so - they will still not feature same-sex dancing couples on their primetime, flagship show Strictly, each time churning out the pathetic 'excuse' that it might alienate a minority of the viewing public who happen to be bigots.[/p][/quote]Perhaps because such dance couples would revolt the nation? Even heteros who support gay rights etc would be outraged at seeing such a thing. HTH[/p][/quote]If heterosexuals can be 'outraged' merely at the sight of something so harmless as two people of the same-sex dancing together then heteros must be really delicate fragile little flowers indeed. Is being heterosexual really built on such a flimsy and insecure foundation that a little thing like this could suddenly send it into such utter turmoil?[/p][/quote]People know what they don't like. It's nothing to do with with being delicate, and the very notion that such a sight threatens in some way their own sexuality is too ridiculous to contemplate. notslimjim
  • Score: 0

11:33am Sat 23 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

Rita Jelfs wrote:
Jeremy Clarkson is a silly old white male 'redneck', who has been left behind. What other country would take this misfit. He reflects the attitude of older people who refuse to adjust to a modern world, where they're no longer the centre of the universe. Companies eventually have to retire these old dinosaurs. The BBC's not leading, just reflecting the nation.
Actually, JC's views on other nationalities are shared by many young people.

Each generation in the UK grows up being forced to accept ever greater numbers of those they consider to be foreigners.

Does this happen in Malawi? In India? In Japan?

No.

So why must it happen here?

All it does is create resentment and hatred that occasionally spills over into violence.

And the violence arises between those of other nations who come here. The Sudanese and Somalians in North London are forever at each others throats, but it's kept quiet in the media.

JC makes fun about national stereotypes. People find him funny.
[quote][p][bold]Rita Jelfs[/bold] wrote: Jeremy Clarkson is a silly old white male 'redneck', who has been left behind. What other country would take this misfit. He reflects the attitude of older people who refuse to adjust to a modern world, where they're no longer the centre of the universe. Companies eventually have to retire these old dinosaurs. The BBC's not leading, just reflecting the nation.[/p][/quote]Actually, JC's views on other nationalities are shared by many young people. Each generation in the UK grows up being forced to accept ever greater numbers of those they consider to be foreigners. Does this happen in Malawi? In India? In Japan? No. So why must it happen here? All it does is create resentment and hatred that occasionally spills over into violence. And the violence arises between those of other nations who come here. The Sudanese and Somalians in North London are forever at each others throats, but it's kept quiet in the media. JC makes fun about national stereotypes. People find him funny. notslimjim
  • Score: 0
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