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N-word: Clarkson 'begs forgiveness'

2014-05-02 10:00

CLARKSON IN RACISM ROW: Jeremy Clarkson apologises for his racist slur during an unaired episode of Top Gear in 2013. Do you think he was racist? Image: AFP/BEN STANSALL

London - Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson has "begged forgiveness" for appearing to use a racist term in a non-aired clip recorded for the motoring show.

Clarkson, no stranger to controversy, explained that he had recited an old nursery rhyme that includes a racist term but tried to mumble out the offending word.

VIDEO: Clarkson apologises for N-word

A Top Gear episode, aired in February 2013, showed Clarkson test driving a Toyota 86 and a Subaru BRZ at the BBC show's race track in which he tells viewers the way the decided between the two is to invoke the nursery rhyme 'Eeny, meeny, miny, moe...'

Having seen the recordings, he asked for another take to be used, replacing the word entirely, as there was some ambiguity in the original.


Clarkson initially denied using the racist term in the clip and posting on Twitter: "I did not use the n word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time."

The Mirror.co.uk hired a firm of audio forensic experts to analyse the clip. An investigator, working for digital forensics company CY4OR, produced a transcript: “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a n***** by his toe, when he squeals, let him go, eeny, meeny, miny, moe.”

Responding on Twitter to the Daily Mirror report, Clarkson said: "Ordinarily I don't respond to newspaper allegations but on this occasion I feel I must make an exception.

"A couple of years ago I recorded an item for Top Gear in which I quoted the nursery rhyme 'Eeny, meeny, miny, moe'. Now, of course I was well aware that in the best-known version of this rhyme there is a racist expression that I was extremely keen to avoid.

"The full rushes show that I did three takes. In two I mumbled where the offensive word would normally occur and, in the third, I replaced it all together with the word 'teacher'. When I viewed this footage, several weeks later, I realised that in one of the mumbled versions, if you listen very carefully with the sound turned right up, it did appear that I'd actually used the word I was trying to obscure.

"I was mortified by this, horrified, it is a word I loath. And as I'm sitting here begging your forgiveness for that fact that obviously my efforts weren't quite good enough."

Co-host James May tweeted: "Jeremy Clarkson is not a racist. I wouldn't work with one."

Clarkson has previously landed himself in hot water for calling former British prime minister Gordon Brown a "one-eyed Scottish idiot" while comments made on the show have upset India, Mexico, Malaysia, Wales and the Vietnamese.

Read more on:    jeremy clarkson  |  racism  |  top gear  |  bbc  |  race

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