‘Toxic’ Clarkson

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In THE centre of Buenos Aires, not far from the central railway station, is a monument to the 649 Argentine soldiers who died in the 1982 Falklands conflict. For a variety of reasons, it is not normally included as one of the venues on a sightseeing tour. But many British tourists take the trouble to visit the structure with its eternal flame and the names of the fallen on a semi-cylindrical wall. They do so, I’m sure, as a mark of respect.

The recent antics of Jeremy Clarkson and his Top Gear team cut across all the gestures of goodwill and reconciliation. Stephen McGinty (Perspective, 11 October) struck exactly the right note on the approach the BBC should take to the matter. A thorough investigation is required.

When it comes to international diplomacy, Mr Clarkson is rapidly becoming a toxic brand. How anyone of his profile could drive around the South American country in a vehicle number plated H982 FKL and think it would cause no offence beggars belief.

Mr McGinty makes an even more cogent point, however. Does the popularity of Mr Clarkson’s programmes justify unacceptable behaviour of this kind? There is no direct comparison between this and the behaviour of the late Jimmy Savile and other BBC figures. Nevertheless, the public will, I think, still wonder whether there is one law for the exceptionally popular and another for those with a much lower profile. No television presenter should be above the law or internal procedures within the BBC for dealing with offensive gestures.


Shiel Court

Glenrothes, Fife