February 6, 2009

BBC host apologizes for insulting PM

Jeremy Clarkson, host of the BBC show Top Gear, apologized Friday for calling British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a one-eyed Scottish idiot.

Clarkson's comment to reporters in Australia angered Labor Party officials, Scots and advocates for the blind, the BBC reported. He compared Brown's response to the economic slump unfavorably to that of his Australian counterpart, Kevin Rudd.

Brown's office kept silent except for a statement saying Clarkson is entitled to his own interpretation of the economic circumstances.

In the heat of the moment I made a remark about the Prime Minister's personal appearance for which, upon reflection, I apologize, Clarkson said.

The BBC said Clarkson's apology closes the book on the incident. He went to Australia to host Top Gear Live.

Top Gear, one of the BBC's most popular TV shows, subjects cars to extreme testing and is known for its brash hosts. Clarkson caused a fuss in November when he joked about a forklift operator convicted of killing five prostitutes.

Brown lost an eye as a teenager while playing rugby.