BBC launches internal investigation into Top Gear

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. Photo / NZPA
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. Photo / NZPA

The BBC has held an internal investigation into Top Gear after a string of controversies involving the hit motoring show.

The Guardian said that a report examining its "culture and practices" has been sent to director of television Danny Cohen and that people working on the show were asked if they thought it was racist.

The show was found to have breached Ofcom's broadcasting rules last month over a "racial" term used by presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

The regulator decided the comment, made by the controversial star during the programme's Burma special screened in March, was offensive.

That came just three months after Clarkson was caught up in another racism row which prompted him to apologise and be given a final warning about his behaviour by the BBC.

In that incident, unaired footage from the programme came to light in which he appeared to use the n-word.It is not the first time Clarkson has talked himself into trouble.

He was criticised by mental health charities after he branded people who throw themselves under trains as "selfish" and was forced to apologise for telling BBC1's The One Show that striking workers should be shot.

An episode of the show filmed in India was criticised by Indian diplomats and the BBC had to apologise to the Mexican ambassador after remarks made by Clarkson and co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond.

- PAA

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