A Top Gear “India Special” episode that was broadcast twice over the Christmas period has angered the world’s second largest country who claim that the show had given a “disgusting” portrayal of their country.
During the episode host Jeremy Clarkson was filmed interviewing locals while operating a trouser press in his boxer shorts and with a Jaguar XJS with a lavatory fixed to the boot. The Telegraph has reported that now the Indian High Commission in London has formally complained to the BBC, accusing its producers of deceiving them over the nature of the programme, which was jokingly billed as a “trade mission” but instead presented a stereotypical and unfavourable image of the country.
In a letter sent to the Top Gear producer, officials at the High Commission condemned the latest broadcast as “tasteless” and accused the BBC of breaching undertakings about the filming. The letter copied to BBC’s director general, Mark Thompson stated that “I write this to convey our deep disappointment over the documentary for its content and the tone of the presentation. You are clearly in breach of the agreement that you had entered into, completely negating our constructive and proactive facilitation.”
Mr Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs select committee, said there was now a risk that damage could be done to important trade relations with India.
A BBC spokesperson said that the broadcaster would respond to the India High Commission “in due course”.
This is the latest in a string of controversial incidences by Top Gear presenters -last month the BBC had to apologise after Clarkson told viewers that striking workers should be shot with other apologies earlier last year to Mexico when co-presenter Richard Hammond insulted Mexicans by comparing them to a Mexican sports car. In the past few days Clarkson has also caused bewilderment in China for making tasteless comments in his newspaper column about the Morecambe Bay cockle picking tragedy in which 23 Chinese migrant workers died.