Top Gear boss Andy Wilman said last year was “an annus horribilis” for the motoring show after it was accused of racism and sparked a near-riot while filming in Argentina.
Presenter Jeremy Clarkson apologised after unscreened footage emerged of him using the n-word while reciting children’s nursery rhyme “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” to choose between two cars. The show was also censured by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules after Clarkson used a “racial” term during the programme’s Burma special.
The year ended with the show’s crew forced to flee Argentina after they used a Porsche with the registration H982 FKL, which some people suggested could refer to the 1982 Falklands conflict. It led to Argentinian veterans staging protests and stones were thrown at vehicles used by cast and crew.
Mr Wilman told Broadcast Magazine’s Talking TV podcast: “We’re knackered after last year because last year was a horrible year. I think it was a, what did the Queen say, an annus horribilis.”
The Queen famously used the phrase in a 1992 speech after the fire at Windsor Castle.
Mr Wilman also criticised the country’s ambassador to the UK who has demanded an apology from the BBC, saying she needs to have “a good think about the accusations she is throwing around”.