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"Top Gear" Rapped for Filming Drinking and Driving During Episode

posted 10:50 AM EST, Thu July 03, 2008
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"Top Gear" Rapped for Filming Drinking and Driving During Episode © Photo: Guano

TV host Jeremy Clarkson of "Top Gear" is criticized for drinking and driving on camera.

The BBC Trust has criticized the popular motoring show "Top Gear" for a scene in which presenter Jeremy Clarkson is seen drinking alcohol while driving. The scene, which produced substantial viewer complaints, showed the TV host sipping alcohol while trying to drive towards the magnetic north pole.

The BBC Trust called the scene "highly irresponsible", said that it "could be seen to glamorize the misuse of alcohol" and concluded that it "was not editorially justified in the context of a family show pre-watershed". The BBC Trust did acknowledge that under British law, drinking a small quantity of alcohol while driving remained legal.

Top Gear producers responded to the complaints by saying that since they were in international waters at the time of filming and as such they were beyond any legal jurisdiction over the use of alcohol while driving.

Viewers also complained about a scene showing a frostbitten penis during that same episode. The BBC Trust concluded that the frostbitten penis was shown in an editorial and non sexual way, and was justified.

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