Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has begged for the public’s forgiveness after he was caught appearing to use the n-word in between filming scenes for his hit BBC series.
During taping, the 54-year-old was recorded reciting an old nursery rhyme with the words “ernie, meenie, mini, moe, catch a n****r by the toe.”
The British presenter initially denied using the offensive term on Twitter, but soon changed his story, releasing a video statement saying he was “horrified”.
I did not use the n word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) May 1, 2014
In the video, Clarkson claims the footage was filmed a couple of years ago for the show and the word was one he was “extremely keen to avoid.”
While Clarkson insists he did not use the offensive phrase, he recognises that the recording suggests he did, a fact which makes him feel “mortified, horrified, it is a word I loathe.”
Clarkson said he did everything in his power to ensure the footage was not used to avoid audience misunderstanding.
“I did everything in my power to not use that word…I’m sitting here begging your forgiveness for the fact that obviously my efforts weren’t quite good enough.”
In the version of the episode that went to air, Clarkson replaced the racist term with the word “teacher”.