Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jeremy Clarkson in trouble over 'jokes' about Romania


Producers of the popular BBC Two series have been asked by the Romanian government to remove “offensive” remarks made about the country.

When Mr Clarkson and his co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May visited the Romanian countryside, he put on a pork pie-style hat and talked of entering “Borat country”.

During the first programme of the series, which was screened last week, Clarkson said: ‘‘I’m wearing this hat so the gypsies think I am one. I’m told they can be violent if they don’t like the look of you.”

The presenter was also seen washing his face before he said "cool, refreshing communist water".

Dr Ion Jinag, Romanian ambassador in London, was “surprised and disappointed” by the references to Borat and gypsies.

The Romanian embassy said: “We anticipate a positive response to our request for changes.”

Mr Clarkson, 49, regularly provokes outrage with his close-to-the-wire comments. Earlier this month he said they would have to present Top Gear in silence in order not to offend anyone.

In 2006 he described a car as being "a bit gay" and "very ginger beer".

The BBC was also forced to apologise after Mr Clarkson asked co-presenter Richard Hammond if he was "mental" when he returned to the show following a near-fatal car crash.

Last year he sparked a flurry of complaints when he joked about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes.

The show begun in 1977, and was relaunched as a more humorous programme in 2002.

Clarkson has been presenting Top Gear since 1988, leading it to become the most watched show on BBC Two, broadcast in over 100 countries around the world.

A Top Gear spokesman said a letter of complaint had been received from the Romanian authorities.

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