BBC Told to Axe Clarkson over 'One-Eye' Brown; Turbo Charged: Jeremy Clarkson with Fellow Top Gear Presenter Richard Hammond after His Outburst against the PM in Australia

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

BBC Told to Axe Clarkson over 'One-Eye' Brown; Turbo Charged: Jeremy Clarkson with Fellow Top Gear Presenter Richard Hammond after His Outburst against the PM in Australia


Byline: JOE MURPHY, BENEDICT MOORE-BRIDGER

THE BBC was engulfed in another huge row today after Jeremy Clarkson called the Prime Minister a "one-eyed Scottish idiot".

Hot on the heels of Carol Thatcher's "golliwog" comment, the Top Gear presenter plunged the corporation into further controversy with his jokey insult about Gordon Brown.

Charities for the blind called it "totally unacceptable" while Scottish MPs said it was "unforgivable".

Lord Foulkes, a former Labour Scottish minister, called on the BBC to take Clarkson, 48, 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.

The dilemma confronting the BBC was whether to treat one of their most popular presenters with the same zero tolerance shown towards Ms Thatcher, who was sacked from The One Show for her racially insensitive remark.

While defenders of Ms Thatcher said she spoke only in a private BBC hospitality room, Clarkson could not have chosen a more public platform 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. …

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