We’d understand people complaining that the Top Gear Christmas Special from India, broadcast on 28th December, was a notch or two below par. Feeble in parts, formulaic and far from the best bit of entertainment to come from TG. But it seems the people who phoned the Beeb to complain were upset by ‘Racial Stereotyping’.
It seems that Jeremy taking off his trousers to demonstrate a Corby Trouser Press would offend the Indians, and that fitting a toilet to the back of the XJS was impugning India’s sanitation. Really? No Indians of our acquaintance would be offended by a keckless Clarkson – well, no more than anyone of any race or creed would be – and most Indians we know find Western visitors’ susceptibility to ‘Delhi-Belly’ amusing.
The rather puerile attempts at humour with the ‘Muffin’ and ‘British IT’ banners splitting as their train moved off was hardly racist and, although it would doubtless offend some, those ‘some’ really shouldn’t be watching Top Gear if they’re so easily offended. Especially as part of the Top Gear remit is to offend the thin-skinned.
But let’s get some perspective, which the Daily Mails of this world always manage to avoid. Just like the ‘offensive’ remarks JC made about shooting strikers on the One Show (which was actually a piss-take of the Beeb’s paranoia over ‘balance), the complaints about the ‘Racist’ elements of the show were irrelevant. Just 23 people complained out of an audience of 5 million. That’s a complaint rate of just 0.0005 per cent of viewers.
Which is a complaint figure we reckon most businesses would kill for. And it’s far fewer complaints than Top Gear got for the Top Gear ‘Three Wise Men’ Christmas special last year. Although that show did fulfil Top Gear’s remit perfectly.
And it was far funnier than this year’s Christmas Special.
Top Gear Christmas Special 2011 India Trailer
Video Source: BBC Top Gear