The producers of one ofBritainmost loved TV programmes, Top Gear, have defended itself in the wake of complaints from the Indian High Commission (IHC), which claimed that the show’s December special was “offensive” to Indian culture.
In its letter to the programme’s producer Chris Hale, the IHC said that the BBC was ‘clearly in breach’ of an agreement that the broadcaster had entered into.
The commission also accused the BBC of being hostile to their “constructive and proactive facilitation.”
The episode, presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, was aired on 28 December and featured an abundance of toilet humour.
The gags were also about food and trains and also saw a Jaguar car fitting with a toilet seat on its boot.
The IHC received complaints from “too many people” who were upset with the show, while the BBC attracted 188 complaints.
The programme showed the controversial Clarkson taking off his trousers at a part to show the attendees how to use a trouser press.
In another scene, which also drew criticism, the presenter showed off a customised Jaguar with a toilet roll on its aerial, saying, “This is perfect forIndiabecause everyone who comes here gets the trots.”
In a statement, Top Gear said, “The Top Gear road trip acrossIndiawas filled with incidents but none of them were an insult to the Indian people or the culture of the country. Our film showed the charm, the beauty, the wealth, the poverty and the idiosyncrasies ofIndiabut there’s a vast difference between showing a country, warts and all, and insulting it.”
“It’s simply not the case that we displayed a hostile or superior attitude to our hosts and that’s very clear from the way the presenters can be seen to interact with them along the way. We genuinely loved our time inIndiaand if there were any jokes to be had they were, as ever, reflected back on the presenters rather than the Indian people,” it added.