Clarkson Sorry over 'One-Eyed' Insult to Brown; Scot Free? Jeremy Clarkson with Fellow Top Gear Presenter Richard Hammond after His Outburst against the Prime Minister in Australia

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 6, 2009 | Go to article overview

Clarkson Sorry over 'One-Eyed' Insult to Brown; Scot Free? Jeremy Clarkson with Fellow Top Gear Presenter Richard Hammond after His Outburst against the Prime Minister in Australia


Byline: JOE MURPHY, BENEDICT MOORE-BRIDGER

TOP GEAR presenter Jeremy Clarkson issued a partial apology this afternoon for calling Gordon Brown a "one-eyed Scottish idiot".

After plunging the BBC into another huge row following Carol Thatcher's "golliwog" comment, Clarkson said he was sorry for remarking on the Prime Minister's appearance.

But the TV presenter pointedly did not apologise for calling him an idiot nor for using "Scottish" as a term of abuse.

Charities for the blind described the insult as "totally unacceptable" while Scottish MPs said it was "unforgivable".

Lord Foulkes, a former Labour Scottish minister, called on the BBC to take Clarkson, off air.

"If the BBC banned Jonathan Ross for what he said and they have taken Carol Thatcher off air for something she said in private, then something should be done about Clarkson," he said.

Clarkson, 48, could not have chosen a more public platform for his insult - a press conference in Sydney.

"(In the UK) we've got this one-eyed Scottish idiot," he said. "He keeps telling us everything's fine and he's saved the world and we know he's lying, but he's smooth at telling us." Mr Brown lost his sight in one eye after a rugby accident as a teenager and has spoken movingly about how being almost completely blinded changed his life. Even today the Prime Minister has difficulty reading fine print.

Pretending to be embarrassed, Clarkson put his hand over his mouth after calling Mr Brown a "one-eyed Scottish idiot" and said: "Oh I've said that now. …

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