BBC apologises for Clarkson 'special needs' gaffe

BBC apologises for Clarkson 'special needs' gaffe

The BBC has been forced to apologise after 'Top Gear' host Jeremy Clarkson branded a car "special needs".

The motormouth TV star said the Ferrari F430 Speciale owned by co-presenter James May was "a bit wrong" and "looked like a simpleton".

He added: "It should have been called the 430 Speciale Needs".

Broadcast watchdog OFCOM investigated the comment after being flooded with complaints, while a number of charities said the remarks were in poor taste and perpetuated "the prejudice and bullying which people with disabilities have to cope with".

The BBC removed the joke from the repeat and iPlayer versions of the show - which was filmed in August - and apologised on the presenter's behalf for any offence caused, saying it was not intended to make fun of those with special needs.

OFCOM said in a statement: "While obviously intended as a joke and not aimed directly at an individual with learning difficulties, the comment could easily be understood as ridiculing people in society with a particular physical disability or learning difficulty."

However, this is not the first time Clarkson has made controversial comments on the BBC Two show.

He sparked outrage when he asked co-host Richard Hammond if he had gone "mental" when he returned to the show following a near-fatal car crash.

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