Top Gear hosts targeted after Welsh jibes
The presenters of BBC2's motoring show Top Gear have reportedly received death threats after poking fun at Welsh people during a recent edition. James May told the News Of The World that he and co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond were targeted after the Welsh "really took offence" at the remarks. Their comments included suggestions that motorists should test drive fast cars on rural Welsh roads, "because no-one wants to live there". "It isn't the Mexicans we have to worry about - it is the Welsh," May said. "They really took offence. "We received quite a few threats on our lives. People shouldn't take what we say seriously." The trio have taken potshots at the Welsh in the past, with Clarkson blowing up a map in a microwave then saying "I put Wales in there because Scotland wouldn't fit," and May branding the Welsh language "baffling and dangerous". They recently came under fire for making jibes at Mexicans, calling them "lazy, feckless, flatulent and overweight" on the show a fortnight ago. It led to Britain's Mexican ambassador Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza called their comments "xenophobic" and "humiliating". However a BBC spokesperson said that the presenters were referring to the "perceived characteristics of nationalities when talking about cars made in those countries" and added, "Mexico was not singled out."
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
By Grace Morris