INDIAN diplomats have complained to the BBC about a “disgusting” episode of Top Gear filmed in the country.
The 90-minute India special showed Jeremy Clarkson talking to locals while using a trouser press dressed in his boxer shorts and included a car fitted with a toilet in the boot which he said was “perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots”.
They also put banners on trains saying: “British IT is good for your company” and “Eat English muffins” which became obscene when the trains moved and the banners were torn.
Raja Sekhar from the Indian High Commission in London said a letter was sent to the BBC to “convey our strong disappointment”.
He said: “We were very actively helping out facilitating the visit but they ran down the whole society, culture and people. It’s really disgusting. We have a very close relationship with and respect for the BBC. The BBC is probably more admired in India than in England so we feel a bit let down.”
It is not the first time the show has run into trouble abroad.
The BBC was forced to apologise to the Mexican ambassador last year after remarks made by Clarkson and co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond.
Hammond said Mexican cars reflected national characteristics, saying they were “just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent”.
May described Mexican food as “like sick with cheese on it”, while Clarkson predicted they would not get any complaints about the show because “at the Mexican embassy, the ambassador is going to be sitting there with a remote control like this (snores)”.
But Ambassador Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza did complain, which led the BBC to apologise.
A BBC spokeswoman said: “We have received a letter from the Indian High Commission and will respond to them in due course.”
The show started with its three co-hosts outside Downing Street reading from a letter Clarkson said was from Prime Minister David Cameron.
Clarkson said he had written to Mr Cameron offering to lead a trade mission to the country and received “a personal letter replying to us from David Cameron himself” which advised them to consider “a fence-mending trip to Mexico” instead.
The show also included a scene where Mr Cameron appears to wave at the trio, telling them: “Stay away from India”. Asked whether Mr Cameron regretted his involvement, his official spokesman said: “This is a matter for the BBC – I don’t speak for the BBC.”