TOP Gear star Jeremy Clarkson has driven in to another storm of controversy by tweeting that he was driving with a beer close at hand.
Clarkson, 54, tweeted: “One of the best drives of my life. Gravel road. M6. Sun going down. iPod playing Blind Faith. Beer in cup holder.”
Clarkson and his Top Gear co-stars are in Australia’s Top End, in the Northern Territory, shooting a special episode of the BBC2 motoring show.
Carole Whittingham, founder of the anti drink-drive charity group Support and Care after Road Deaths and injury (Scard), said: “Personally, I think he is an absolute idiot. He is in the media and he should be setting an example for safe driving.
“He likes to be controversial and this is just one in a long line of some of the stupid things that he has done. I just think that he has got an ego that is far too big. He should be making a good impression on people and giving a good example.”
In response to the tweet Jim Campbell wrote: “If you drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot” while another follower added: “@JeremyClarkson drink driving eh?”
Another follower called Lucas The Kop Cat replied that “Clarkson is the greatest wind up merchant of his generation. And everybody bit. Top work, Jeremy... :)”
Last week Alicia Castro, the Argentinian ambassador to the UK, demanded a public apology from the BBC following the row over a Top Gear special filmed in the South American country.
The show’s crew had to leave Argentina after trouble erupted when it emerged they were using a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL, which some people suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict of 1982.
Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman has denied the number plate was a “stunt” and Clarkson was “shocked” when someone pointed out the link between the number plate and the Falklands War days into filming.
A statement from the embassy said: “Argentine ambassador to the UK Alicia Castro made a formal complaint to the BBC regarding Jeremy Clarkson’s provocative behaviour and offensive remarks towards the government and the Argentine people, following Top Gear’s recent filming in Argentina, calling for the BBC to make a public apology.”
She met the BBC’s director of television, Danny Cohen.
The complaint referred to “serious accusations” Clarkson had made against the Buenos Aires government which he said had made “political capital” out of the issue.
The embassy statement went on: “Furthermore, the Argentine ambassador deeply regretted Jeremy Clarkson’s entirely false accusations of alleged resentment against British citizens in Argentina.”
A BBC spokeswoman said it had received a complaint and “will apply its usual processes”.
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