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VIDEO: Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says sorry after race row

Posted: 02/05/2014 11:15 AM
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JEREMY CLARKSON has begged for forgiveness after admitting he did use the N-word during the filming of BBC programme Top Gear.

His admission came just hours after he took to Twitter to vehemently deny claims made by The Mirror insisting he used the offensive term in an unaired segment of the hit show.

He tweeted: "I did not use the N-word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time."

In the offensive clip, the 54-year-old was heard reciting the nursery rhyme ‘eeny, meeny, miny, mo’ - which contains the line, ‘catch a n****r by his toe’ - to chose between two cars.

The programme, aired in February 2013, showed Clarkson standing between a Toyota GT86 and a Subaru BRZ and saying: "Both cost the same, they have the same bodies and the same interiors with the same equipment."

Following a huge outcry, the shamed presenter posted a video online last night (May 1) insisting that though he had tried to obscure the word, his efforts to do so "weren't quite good enough".

He 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 quote the rhyme "eeny, meeny, miny, moe". 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 altogether with the word teacher. Now 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 loathe and I did everything in my power to make sure that that version did not appear in the programme that was transmitted.”

His apology came after a day of growing calls for the BBC to sack him. The corporation issued a strongly worded statement saying: "Jeremy Clarkson has set out the background to this regrettable episode. We have made it absolutely clear to him, the standards the BBC expects on air and off. We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this."

Downing Street condemned any use of the word, saying that David Cameron – a friend of Clarkson's – would "certainly not" use it.