Jeremy Clarkson offends gays with ‘I demand the right not to be bummed’ joke
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has been criticised for a remark about homosexuality.
The exchange was cut from Sunday night’s BBC2 show, but was revealed by his guest Alistair Campbell.
Mr Campbell, the former Labour spin doctor, was booed while appearing on the programme.
He wrote on his blog: “I cannot remember how the subject of homosexuality came up, but I said at one point that he wasn’t very sound on gay rights … Oh yes I am, he said, adding, to more laughter from the largely adoring crowd ‘I demand the right not to be bummed’.”
Mr Campbell continued: “I had the immediate thought that this was unlikely to be broadcast at 8pm on a Sunday, with Songs of Praise still ringing in some ears, but nonetheless chipped in that I suspected he was worried that he might like it. He seemed to enjoy that, and recalled his public school education, though without any detail.”
Clarkson, who is paid £1 million a year, was nominated for Stonewall’s Bigot of the Year award in 2007 for refusing to apologise after being reprimanded by BBC bosses for derogatory gay jibes on primetime TV.
He told an audience member that he would not buy a car because it was “a bit gay” and “very ginger beer”, which is rhyming slang for “queer”.
Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill told the Daily Star: “Surely the reason Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t want to get bummed is that he needs somewhere to speak out of.”
The BBC said exchange was not broadcast because the section had to be cut down from 25 minutes to nine.