BBC Sorry For Clarkson’s “Mental” Jibe

The BBC has apologised for Jeremy Clarkson’s description of crash-victim Richard Hammond as “a mental”. Mental health groups complained about the Top Gear episode when co-presenter Hammond returned following his life-threatening smash.

“Are you a mental?” Clarkson enquired, while third host James May offered a tissue in case of dribble.

Peter McCabe, chief executive of brain injury charity Headway, received complaints from viewers and passed his concerns to the corporation. Its reply read: “The Top Gear team accept that by using the term ‘a mental’ we caused offence to some members of our audience and would like to apologise for doing so.”

McCabe commented: “We made a formal complaint to the BBC and Ofcom following the programme after hearing from scores of deeply offended brain injury survivors, carers and the people who work with them.”

The BBC had previously defended the show. “Viewers are aware of the playful nature of the programme and the boyish rapport that exists between the programme’s presenters,” it said. “It’s something viewers really enjoy.”