Clarkson's 'speciale needs' gag definitely 'offensive' says Ofcom

The powers that be have once again cranked into action to scold Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC for a light-hearted comment made on Top Gear.

Ofcom, the grouchy media regulator, launched an investigation after Clarkson described a Ferrari F430 Speciale as 'speciale needs' due to its 'simpleton' appearance.
The bombastic presenter made the joke while contrasting the car to a newer model, but the joke was also intended to mock co-presenter James May, who owns an F430.

Ofcom ruled that the 'discrimatory language' used by Clarkson had the 'potential to be very offensive' but stopped short of censuring the BBC as the corporation had already apologised for the joke and removed it from subsequent repeats.

In its ruling, the regulator said: "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."

Despite its obviously irreverent style and post-watershed broadcast, Top Gear regularly faces the ire of the media watchdog thanks to remarks made on the show.

Most of the public criticism is directed at Clarkson, who clearly thrives on his carefully honed reputation as an incredibly popular outspoken buffoon.

How many complaints were made to Ofcom this time round? Two, according to the BBC. Out of an audience of almost six million.

To complain about Ofcom, click here.
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