Television presenter Jeremy Clarkson said he had received
a final warning from Britain's publicly-funded broadcaster, the
BBC, over using racist language while filming "Top Gear", one
of the world's most popular TV programmes.
Clarkson, 54, was called before BBC bosses this week after
the Mirror newspaper reported he was heard using the word
"nigger" as he recited an old version of the rhyme "Eeny,
Meeny, Miny, Moe" to choose between cars in filming two years
The newspaper did not say how it got hold of the footage,
which was not aired, but the revelation led to calls for
Clarkson to resign or be sacked from the BBC, which is funded
by a licence fee paid by all UK households who own a
The presenter, known for his humorous but blunt style,
apologised in a video on Twitter on Thursday, saying he tried
to avoid the racist expression by mumbling over that part of
the rhyme in two takes and replacing it with "teacher" in a
But in a regular column in the Sun newspaper on Saturday,
Clarkson admitted he was on his final warning from the BBC
after the latest controversy to hit the outspoken but highly
"I've been told by the BBC that if I make one more offensive,
remark, anywhere, at ay time, I will be sacked," wrote
Clarkson, insisting he had not used the 'n' word that he
found "extremely distasteful".
"It's funny. I've always thought I'd be sacked for something
I said. Not for something that actually, I didn't say."
SERIES OF CONTROVERSIES
The furore comes just days after Top Gear producers
apologised for a "light-hearted" joke by Clarkson in Myanmar
and Thailand in which he referred to a "slope" on a bridge as
an Asian man crossed a makeshift structure built by the
The show prompted complaints of racism and producer Andy
Wilman apologised, saying they were unaware it was a racially
offensive term for Asians used in countries like Australia
and the United States and regretted any offense caused.
The BBC has regularly downplayed controversies over
Clarkson's comments through the 26-year history of Top Gear,
one of its best-selling shows which has aired in 214
countries, helping make Clarkson, a journalist by background,
into a global celebrity.
Top Gear was named by Guinness World Records as the world's
most widely watched factual TV programme in 2013 and its
popularity has led to spin-offs including video games and a
But Clarkson's strong views have pitched him up against
politicians, national governments, environmental groups, car
companies and communities across Britain over the years.
Facebook has an "I Hate Jeremy Clarkson" page.
A BBC statement on Thursday said the corporation had spoken
to Clarkson and made "absolutely clear" the standards
"We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view
this," said the statement.
A BBC spokesman said on Saturday the corporation had nothing
to add beyond this statement. The BBC declined to say how
much Clarkson makes or how much Top Gear earns.