India angry over Top Gear jokes

2012-01-13 08:44
London - Indian diplomats protested on Thursday about a special edition of the BBC's popular Top Gear motoring show, claiming it had given a "disgusting" portrayal of their country.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who has upset Mexico in the past and last month joked that striking British workers should be shot, was filmed on location in India with a Jaguar car which had a toilet fixed to the boot.

Clarkson said the portable toilet was "perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots", referring to an upset stomach.

In another prank, the programme makers hung banners on trains reading "British IT is good for your company" and "Eat English muffins". The messages became obscene when the carriages parted and the signs ripped apart.


Raja Sekhar from the Indian High Commission in London said Indian officials had supplied the BBC with assistance to make the programme, but had been misled about its content.

He said a letter had been sent to the BBC to "convey our strong disappointment".

"We were very actively helping out facilitating the visit but they ran down the whole society, culture and people. It's really disgusting," he said.

"We have a very close relationship with and respect for the BBC. The BBC is probably more admired in India than in England so we feel a bit let down."

Forced to apologise

The BBC was forced to apologise to the Mexican ambassador to Britain last year after Clarkson and co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond said a Mexican car brand, Mastretta, reflected national characteristics - "lazy, feckless, flatulent".

May described Mexican food as "like sick with cheese on it", while Clarkson said they would not receive any complaints about the show because "at the Mexican embassy, the ambassador is going to be sitting there with a remote control like this (snores)".

A BBC spokesperson said: "We have received a letter from the Indian High Commission and will respond to them in due course."


  • john.h.viljoen - 2012-01-13 08:55

    all in the name of television.if it gets you talking then you'll watch it.can't wait for the new season.

      Eric Schollar - 2012-01-13 09:33

      @grootwit. Idiotic comment! I'll bet your accent is equally hilarious

      Juan - 2012-01-13 09:41

      Oh I love that show, nice cars and old crocks being put through their paces, and I laugh my ass of for those three. What more could one ask for in entertainment?

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-01-13 21:26

      Yes Eric...especially if you consider that people think South Africans speak weird....although people say I sound Aussie.

      John - 2012-01-13 22:26

      Where 'is' my indian jokes? I will post them tomorrow!

      John - 2012-01-13 22:28

      Raja Sekhar from the Indian High Commission: Stop complaining and fix the water!

  • Chrono - 2012-01-13 09:09

    When will people realise the whole damn show is basically tongue in cheek?

  • Carl - 2012-01-13 09:11

    they are famous for their sense of humour and treating their poor like dirt...oh, and giving tourists the "trots"

  • Twain - 2012-01-13 09:12

    Cameron told them not to go! I can't help but laugh. Seriously, there's no sense of humor in the world. Top Gear's episode actually made me want to visit India. Go figure.

  • clivecorbz - 2012-01-13 09:17

    "Ran down the whole society"... Shoulda been followed with "Almost as much as our caste system does on a daily basis, it's really disgusting."

  • Rory Neil Price - 2012-01-13 09:19

    Tough sh1t

      Albertus - 2012-01-13 09:27

      no, trots

  • Heidi - 2012-01-13 09:41

    I think they are taking this a tad too seriously. Learn to laugh a little guy's. No one complains when comedians poke fun at other nations, and effectively this is what Jeremy and the ccrew of top gear are. Viva top gear.

  • - 2012-01-13 09:44

    Anyone that watches the show will know Clarkson. Its in his nature to be insulting, whether its cars, places, people...anything! He even insults his fellow presenters ALL THE TIME! Its what makes the show different to other shows and what draws millions of viewers every week. The world will be a much better place if everyone just had a slight sense of humour!

  • delahvonne - 2012-01-13 09:45

    Has the bottom fallen out of your world??? Take a trip to India & within a few days it will feel like the world has fallen out of your bottom LOL

      Deon - 2012-01-13 12:59

      This is probably a good place to loose some weight?

  • bijoy.sarawan - 2012-01-13 09:47

    If you can't laugh at yourself, don't laugh at the rest of the world.

      Twain - 2012-01-13 12:23

      That's my personal mantra. And Top Gear always laughs at itself (and the UK in general).

  • Andre - 2012-01-13 09:53

    I blame BBC for splurting coffee over my laptop! The Train Banner Scene was hysterically good. It's a show for Pete's Sake. Enjoy it with a pinch of Salt. I'd love to get Jeremy's opinions on our local environment. Envite Juju for a test drive!

      johangro - 2012-01-13 10:06

      Please tell me what it said.. didnt see the show...

      Nkulekweni - 2012-01-13 11:41

      Yes it would be so much fun to hear Jeremy comment on ignorant redneck yokels ect. Such fun.

      Twain - 2012-01-13 12:25

      "Top Gear promotes British IT for your company" turned into "SH IT for your company" and "Eat English Muffins" turned into "Eat English Muff" - I cried tears of laughter.

      Juan - 2012-01-13 18:10

      Maybe than can mount a shower on a beemer for uncle zooomer. Boy would that be a laugh

  • jacques.byliefeldt - 2012-01-13 10:02

    I love TG , but sometimes the comments made,especially by Jeremy is not called for and does not do the presenters any favours. Keep doing what you do well, present a very good motoring show and leave the politics to the politicians.

      George - 2012-01-14 05:19

      Go hug a tree Jacques

  • hayden.cajee - 2012-01-13 10:08

    Ha ha ha ha, over sensitive bunch i tell you.

  • Osman Bux - 2012-01-13 10:09

    The truth hurts huh

  • Schalk - 2012-01-13 10:16

    Every time these three go on a special assignment in a foreign country the the story is the same. They show up with preconceived notions of the country but by the end of the trip they embrace their surroundings and put a positive spin to their trip. Is this not the case for every traveler? You go to new place with stories of crime or unfriendly locals and by the end of your trip you have experienced an entirely different country than was explained to you.

  • willbeonekenobi - 2012-01-13 10:33

    this special is one of my favorite top gear specials ever. Sure they took the mickey out of their people (the banner incident, clarkson standing pantsless in front of indian diplomats, etc) but I think all three said more positive things about the country than negative. In fact I have learned a lot more about india than before I watched the special, and made me want to visit it someday when I have got time off and money.

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 10:40

    Getting upset over Top Gear is like being insulted by Ricky Gervais at the golden globes... get over it, it's all tongue in cheek..

  • Bryan - 2012-01-13 10:42

    Top gear presenters bring the fun element back into television. Every episode is filled with arguably the best toilet humour around and what makes it even better is that Clarkson, Hamster and Captain slow direct their insults at eachother.. Cant wait for the new series..Top gear rules:-)

  • STYLEbudd - 2012-01-13 11:01

    bring and cum

  • Cameron - 2012-01-13 11:11

    OMG who cares, the topgear team are brilliant, it`s clearly obvious why they are the most successful television series of ALL time, all you need to do is watch just one episode and you will instantly find out why these guys are tops :) If they were politically correct about bloody EVERYTHING I highly doubt anyone would watch the show....... no? and besides it would be boring as hell, I really don`t understand why people get their knickers all bunched up like this when at the end of the day it is nothing more than a television show...... a bloody good if I might add :) GO TOPGEAR and the oh so briiliant english trio that make topgear what it is, you guys kick ass!

  • bruce.boome - 2012-01-13 11:14

    That is just typical English humour. They take the mickey out of everyone- including themselves and each other. People are way too sensitive nowadays. I don't think Top Gear is going to(or should) change for anyone, imagine how boring a totally P.C. world would be. In any case, there's a definite grain of percieved truth in what they say, or it wouldn't be funny. Everybody, please---- lighten up and get over yourselves.

  • Claude - 2012-01-13 12:15

    Clarkson and his crew can now go F themselves. I’m off that show for sure. The poms that raped and pillaged countries over all the past eras will get what’s coming to them. The Brits wealth came from India. But now the Indians are invading there little island and taking over… Lol. Isn’t payback a bi*ch

      Rob - 2012-01-13 13:38

      Wow, you're a very disturbed individual. Using historical events to ratify revenge is neither intelligent nor useful. I'm sure there are dark moments in your ancestry which may not be your proudest moments or for which you would not like to be held responsible. You need to learn more my friend, a lot more. Good luck.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-01-13 13:43

      Poor old Claude ...

      Heiku - 2012-01-13 16:28

      Rob: There is no such thing as revenge without taking into account historical events.

      George - 2012-01-14 05:26

      Claude, Im sure in your lifetime you wont see a Brit "washing" in the Ganges and we apologise for stealing your samoosa recipes.

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-15 13:37

      Fine British name you have there Claude.

  • Rob - 2012-01-13 13:31

    Wahahahah Now thats good television!!!

  • Wayne - 2012-01-13 17:32

    A little bit sensitive there. Perhaps because its flighted on international TV. No one wants to be made out to be idiots in the eyes of the world. Bottom line is an apology will be made, JC and co will get a slap on the wrist and we will all continue watching and enjoying the humour. Love the show, but who knows, if they rip of Seffricans in a bad way, how will we respond? Probably winge a bit, then continue watching.

  • Alex - 2012-01-13 17:34

    India has over 700 million voters, imagine how many more children. Now think about that Ganges. Good Luck!

  • Abirami - 2012-01-13 18:37

    This is crazy.. we Indians should not take this very seriously..we can either appreciate the sense of humor or just ignore it. At the same time we should not forget to appreciate when someone points out the facts.. (of course those comments were all not was a bit rude though..any ways everybody knows what we have got and what we are. Instead behaving like cry babies, may be we should fix those issues (toilets) and ask Mr. Clarkson to perform a similar show in say 5 years time, that would be a great challenge. While we appreciate BBC for making tremendous videos about Indian heritage and modern India (like incredible India etc..), we should also accept those criticism/sarcasm. We need to grow for that we definitely need to clean lots of closets..WE WILL GROW.. God bless India

  • Charmaine - 2012-01-13 19:30

    So, whats new, this happens all over this world, Wicked sense of Humor. Lol

  • vivek.rajasenan - 2012-01-13 20:50

    Indian streets may not be the cleanest, but hey, they're still cleaner than British teeth

  • Jacques - 2012-01-13 21:47

    atleast it true! I got the Dheli belly of just 2 days being there! ended up in hospital!

      vivek.rajasenan - 2012-01-14 11:07

      You moron if you eat of the streets what do you expect? Even we dont eat of the streets,but wait were smart ....clearly you're not.

  • Kailas - 2012-01-14 03:54


      Jeffrey - 2012-01-15 13:36

      The British really couldn't care less who hates them. A handful of British civil servants ran India only because of the help they received from your own Indian rajahs.

  • Grant - 2012-01-14 07:37

    I used to enjoy Jeremy Clarkson but that changed after the 2007 world cup. He said on his programme that the disallowed English try was legit. "I was there and I saw it!" What an arrogant d**s. However, I feel his depiction of India is accurate from what I've read and heard. If the Indians don't like it, let them switch channel (or read my comments).

  • vivek.rajasenan - 2012-01-14 11:19

    @grant oh really? why dont you visit the country and then talk. We're one of the fastest growing countries, even though we were tortured by a bunch of losers. who were they ?....oh yeah the british

  • vivek.rajasenan - 2012-01-14 11:21

    btw top gear was right abt england. ur cricket team can play as well as my shoe.

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-15 13:34

      India just took another hammeing off Australia in the third cricket test. Gee fella, a bunch of offspring of British criminals just beat you at your national sport, which incidentally you would never have heard of if the British hadn't brought it to India.

  • Clifford - 2012-01-14 12:50

    Typical of this programme, adolescent geriatrics with typical English arrogance, who think that the empire still exists and everyone has the same puerile, lavatorial sense of humour!

  • Jeffrey - 2012-01-15 13:39

    I've never watched Top Gear as I really have no interest in cars, only insofar as they get me from A to B without having to catch a taxi. Maybe I've been missing something.

  • ant.coops - 2012-01-25 01:40

    im more annoyed the bbc had to apologise , i pay them licence fees to bring good programs to television , bbc topgear is THE only show i watch , the rest is bollox and its because of the humour and honesty why this is the most successful car show of all time :D get a grip bbc i withdraw your apology lol :P

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