back to article Jezza Clarkson cops flak for 'truckers murder strumpets' gag

A quip from Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson suggesting that lorry drivers kill prostitutes has attracted 188 complaints to the BBC. Clarkson was "taking part in a lorry-driving task" on Sunday's pre-watershed show when he said: "Change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Get a life get a job

    these people have far too much time on their hands, most rational people, so on current estimates thats 4 brits, realise it was a joke and wasnt meant to be taken seriously or offensively.

    I say we go back to the good old days of silent films, that way nobody will be able to say anything offensive.

    Good day to you sir. NO its not its raining, i take offense and am reporting you to ofcom :)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC Board of Governors should resign

    When they demanded action over the Russell Brand thing, they made the BBC into the Daily Mail's bitch.

    It means that any sad unhappy fat and alone woman in her shell suit can feel a little powerful in their otherwise unhappy dull, insignificant, powerless lives by complaining about a BBC show on the weakest of grounds.

    The Board of Governors has undermined the BBC by it's action and should resign.

    BTW who are the old duffers?

  3. Yorkshirepudding

    release the hounds!

    im just waiting for the daily wail to launch another campaign, if you dont like it turn over ffs!

    nobody complained about about the comment about the stig making sweet love to brands answer machine or that he would have tried to mount the white lambo.

    move along move along.....

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Stop whinging!

    I love Top Gear and have since the clarkson took over the reigns.

    As mentioned on the BBC site when watching TG you have to take clarkson how he is. Yes he will speak his mind, but its refreshing in this PC mad country.

    Some people have nothing better to do than complain, get a sense of humour!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Oh please....

    Is there ANYONE in this country who can take a joke anymore? It's Jeremy Clarkson being classic Jeremy Clarkson - If you're watching Top Gear at all you should know what he's like.

    I'd bet that those who complained didn't actually watch the show...

  6. Richard

    You just wait

    He'll be up against the wall in no time. Although in this case he doesn't have some skank fanning the flames because her gleaming reputation, as a stripper, has be tarnished. Plus a lot more Daily Mail reading green inkers.

    Speaking of against the wall...

    "Given the BBC got more than 30,000 complaints regarding the Brand and Woss Manuelgate scandal [...] the Clarkson polemic seems likely to cost the petrolhead nothing more than ten minutes away from the wheel and five quid docked from his wages."

    Does that mean that your punishment is directly related to the number of complaints received by Ofcom? In which case, next time Wacky Jackie, or anyone else we all hate speaks on TV, we must ALL write in to complain. Maybe she'll get the chair.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Clarkson, of course, after getting a few complaints of this type, has spent most recent series of Top Gear trying to put something in each show that'll have the hordes of Little England reaching for the phones.

    I can't recall whether it was the series just gone or the one before, but I and a friend coined the game of Top Gear Complaint Bingo; trying to guess during an episode which items would be the complaint making the news during the following week. Sometimes we were spot on, sometimes way off; the Porsche pipes episode I vaguely recall Clarkson saying something ridiculously offensive and baiting during the news, but it was the shock-horror-smoking-ban-violated action that got the phones ringing.

    My impression is the chap's endlessly amused that people who hate his show and everything he stands for waste an hour of their life every week watching it to find something to complain about.

    Incidentally, have you looked at the BBC's public responses to complaints page? Almost a third of complaints seem to be based on a template of, "Interesting thing happened in Eastenders storyline. How dare they!"

  8. Cameron Colley

    Where did all the freedom go?

    Is it now "against guidelines" to have a sense of humour different ot that of a prudish moron?

  9. Simon

    No US election angle?

    What? There is an election going on in some foreign country that is not relevent to the UK?

    Well any news media in this country would feel a bit foolish I suppose if they had been reporting it for months on end to us Brits who really couldn't give a toss.

    El Reg, this is why I love you so much (You havent had any articles about the election thingy, right?)

    Oh, sorry this story is about Clarkson, umm, yeah, bad boy, booo!

  10. Dan White
    Paris Hilton

    Get a grip FFS!

    Even the most sheltered Mary Whitehouse admirer should know the type of humour you're going to experience on Top Gear by now. TG has been demonstrating "Viz" style material for ages, and I thought it was hysterical. If you don't like it, don't watch it.

    I await the Daily Mail's response, and the Sun's, "We're backing our Truckers" sticker campaign with the usual degree of disdain.

    Paris, because she's demonstrated the ability to take a heavy load before...

  11. Big_Boomer
    IT Angle

    Sailing close to the wind

    Yes, Clarkson often sails a bit too close to the wind but that is what we all expect of him.

    I'm a motorcyclist but you didn't hear many of us complaining when he implied that we are not "human beings". Those that did complain need to get a life if they are that insecure.

    Yes, murder is a serious business and I sympathise with the surviving victims but this was in no way condoning murder. I saw it as another example of Clarksons sarcastic wit (or lack thereof).

    This is nothing like the offenses against common decency that Ross & Brand carried too far so please stop comparing this to that. Ross & Brand got what they deserved.

  12. Glyn


    Stacks of uncensored gentleman's literature before the watershed and nothing said about that...wonder what happened to that lot....

    Mine's the one with "Dirty old men need love too" on the back

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Thing is...

    Just like the brand/goth slapper thing, its all true, both my brother and uncle are truck drivers and the garage is just full of bodies rolled up in old carpets.

    Thing is the law only allows 3 murders before they have to take a 30min break...and that means they can't dump the ones they do in their spare time in laybys causing issues with 'missing people' and causing discomfort within the general population. Clarkson has only brought this to the attention of the average person and they don't like it...But just like Ramadan and Diwali, murdering truckers are a traditional british institution and as such are above the common law of sense and jokes about them shouldn't be tolerated. Well done the BBC for yet again showing that even though hundreds of millions of people enjoy top gear world wide we should let the voice of the .000000001% of the viewers that find jokes about willies, bums and black oap midgets offensive, be used to regulate the only funny show worth watching on a Sunday night.

  14. Dave
    Thumb Up


    I heard it, not the biggest chuckle of the night, but I certainly wasn't offended by it. Okay?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well done BBC

    By not backing up your own employees and bowing to the pressure of the Daily Mail brigade you made it open season on everyone at the BBC. Congratulations.

  16. radian


    I personally don't like Jo Brand. I find her offensive to look at and listen too. I can't wait for the day she does something to offend the general public so I can use it as an excuse to complain and hopefully get her off TV.

    Its a shame we can't get rid of politicians so easily.

  17. Efros
    Thumb Up

    highly distasteful and insensitive

    They obviously have never watched Jezza at work before. Highly distasteful and insensitive he may be but occasionally he's pretty funny too!

  18. AC
    Thumb Up


    Sack Ross,

    promote clarkson to PM.


  19. Anonymous Coward

    In other news

    all UK tv has been replaced by the "Good Life".

    However all livestock scenes have been romoved, just in case it offends some relgion, somewhere..

    Hold on...

    breaking news, it has been replaced by the test card as the Good life offended someone who doesn't like Ms kendal....

    Hold on, update..

    the girl has been removed from the testcard, as it may get Peados excited.

    It has now been replaced by a non offensive Blanks screen...

    Hold on, a black screen has upset one whte middleass Daily Mail reader who thinks that it may offend black people with it's negative stereotype. Thefore the BBC is now going to go off air....

  20. Mike Crawshaw

    A few more slips like that..

    And he'll have a realistic shot of actually becoming PM!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Don't upset the poor prozzies

    Brian Tobin, director of The Iceni Project, "a charity which had helped some of the murdered prostitutes in Ipswich", described the gag as "highly distasteful and insensitive".

    Absolutely. Clarkson should be sacked for upsetting these criminals? Just because they make a living from breaking the law doesn't mean they don't have feelings.

    Paris, well.....

  22. Neil Greatorex
    IT Angle

    188 complaints

    You have to wonder who's complaining here, even the Daily Wail loves Top Gear.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Absolute tosh

    I can't believe this, I really can't. I mean, who are these people doing all the complaining? Because from what I heard on the news this morning, a great many lorry drivers have defended Clarkson's comment, saying they thought it was hilarious and not in the least bit offensive. This must be the work of the PC we-need-to-protect-people-from-comedy-incase-they-injure-themselves-laughing thought police brigade.

    Screw it, I'm off to complain about The IT Crowd, for propagating stereotypical views of the IT industry which, I for one, dont find in the least bit offensive, but someone somewhere might.

    Oh yeah, I nearly forgot:

    Wont someone PLEEEEEAAAAASEEEEE think of the CHILDREN!

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Moral Minority

    Oh my God....the PC crowd are up in arms again. Get a life. We expect it from Jezza (and is he that wrong???)

    It's not as if this is an unexpected comment - if you don't like things he says - don't watch the f***ing programme!!!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    wasted energy

    Why can the people who want to complain, complain about things that actually matter!

    Which would you rather people complain about

    1) Jezzer making comments about lorry drivers


    2) Poorly trained / overworked foreign lorry drivers being let loose on UK roads causing multiple deaths

    Some people need to get a grip!

  26. Vincent

    The perfect puishment...

    Take away all his fancy cars - make him drive the G-Wiz instead!

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Richard Cartledge
    Dead Vulture

    At least it's not as bad as...

    What's the difference between Steve Wright and Mr Kipling?

    Mr Kipling only puts six tarts in a box.

  29. David S

    Careful now.

    Down with this sort of thing.

  30. Gareth Jones

    A bit of the usual

    It does seem somewhat ridiculous that somebody should be so hypocritical as to enjoy a programme who's stock in trade is to offend and then take offence, but it's a scenario familiar to the readers of Private Eye. How often does a letter begin: "I have been a subcriber since your inception." and end: "Please cancel my subscription."?

    And BTW there have been rather more than one case of a lorry driver murdering protitutes. Ever heard of a chap called Peter Sutcliffe for example?

    And I know we'll see lots of comments along the lines of "This is supposed to be a magazine programme about cars". Well anybody who remembers the old Top Gear will remember that it was even duller than Fifth Gear is now (takes some doing) and more importantly nobody watched it. Top Gear isn't "supposed to be" anything in particular, I think you'll find it's a motoring based entertainment show.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Who complained?

    Honestly, who complained? Truck drivers? Prostitutes?

    I think they should have a clearing process for complaints to the BBC. My rudimentary flowchart looks something like this:

    1) Did you watch the show? ----- no ---> bog off






    2) Are you a truck driver or a prostitute? ----- no ---> bog off






    3) Get a sense of humour

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must be a slow news week

    Consider the feeding frenzy that occurred when people heard about the Ross/Brand business. It makes you wonder if some folk have nothing better to do than take offence at every little thing. Or if we really have that many people with such a sense of humour failure that they can't take comments like this.

    "....when will you lose your stupidity, Mary Long?" (Deep Purple)

  33. Alex


    Watch that figure JUMP significantly like Ross and Brands...

    I have Bandwagoners.... There should be a time limit for registering your complaint to stop would-be Beep slaggers, and making their argument about licence fee instead of the real complaint.

    Mine's the one with "How to lose friends and alienate people" in the pocket...

  34. Jamie

    Get a damn life you lazy bastards

    Jeremy made a comment that upset some people. Did he upset the people the comment were about. No, instead he upset a bunch of tree hugging, pansy waist, do-gooders who do more harm than anyone else.

  35. Will

    F*cks sake....

    ....will people leave broadcasters along, soon we will have to return to re-runs of 70s sit coms because everything else is just 'too' edgy.

    Its all bollocks.

  36. Anonymous Coward


    The BBC did nothing after he advocated murdering motorcyclists*, so why should they do anything now?

    Quite what we pay of BBC tax for escapes me, certainly not low-grade gutter muck like this.

    *Stringing wire across the road to decapitate them. Some jokers actually did this.

  37. Mudslinger
    IT Angle

    Fair comment?

    Peter Sutcliffe (the Yorkshire Ripper) was also a truck driver.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    See what happens?

    See what happens when you encourage people to complain? What a load of bollocks.

    We should erect signs at all major airports:


  39. It wasnt me

    Well done el reg.

    It'll be in the daily mail tomorrow, and the next day the BBC will be suspended, clarkson will be flogged by middle england, and BT will come to a standstill under the weight of billions of furious nobodies seething with rage complaining to everyone. Yet none of them will have watched the program, as celebrity fatso lipo-reduction diaries (Series 3) was probably on the other side.

    And the rest of us who thought it was funny will lose out.


  40. Pete James

    Clarkson coming back on the screens after Ross and Brand getting into trouble was almost guaranteeing complaints would come in. Face it, some - no, a lot - of the complainants have an agenda. They don't like the licence fee, they have a political axe to grind (too left wing! Not left wing enough!) or they have a personal dislike of the presenter/actor/singer etc. Or they read the Daily Mail of course, in which case they want the whole world spun back to 1936 as it was so much nicer back then chaps. The media-led protestations have rudely shoved aside Mr Sachs (the victim in this little caper, shame on you for forgetting) and now they have another chance to give the BBC a shoeing from a remark made by Clarkson. A comment that at any other time would not have got column space. No it wouldn't, don't argue.

    Besides, what is this Iceni Project? "A charity which had helped some of the murdered prostitutes in Ipswich". Didn't help them much seeing as the poor souls are dead.

  41. David Edwards

    Worse than smoking

    Seeing as how the BBC received complaints about Clarkson and Co smoking pipes, and letters about the fact that it was in breach of the smoking ban. It would appear that ther are some people that watch this show in order to write down lists of things they are offended about. And remember in todays society "offending" someone is a far worse crime than...say...stabbing them...or burgling their house.

  42. dervheid

    Look out, look out...

    the Thought Police are about!

    No doubt the 'meja' will blow this all out of proportion. Again.

    Has this country completely lost it's sense of humour since the 70's?

    Wait... oh. Apparently it has.


  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self obsessed BBC

    As usual, the BBC miss the point of the whole Woss saga, it's not that they broadcast anything, it's

    because they phoned up an old man who had f'all to do with their crappy program, and left him an

    abusive message on his answer phone.

    No, for the BBC it must all be about the might of media and their boredcasting.

  44. TeeCee Gold badge

    Bloody hell!

    Jezza Clarkson said something that offended somebody? Has the world gone mad?

    Everyone knows that Jeremy is a model of political correctness and would never make snide, offensive comments about anyone. Especially cyclists, pedestrians, drivers of diesel engined vehicles, those who travel on public transport and of course caravanners, for all of whom he has the greatest respect.

    I wonder if something's happened at the beeb recently to cause them to come over all hand-wringing at the slightest indication of any possible offence being caused, however slight?

  45. Stuffer

    Outraged from Orpington

    Oh FFS...this is getting ridiculous. Obviously Clarkson has been paid large amounts of cash from Labour party funds to ensure he makes a suitably "outrageous" remark to ensure that the Daily Mail stops focussing on the continuing economic crisis and focuses instead on the filth that is being peddled on a daily basis by the BBC....

  46. Peter Thompson

    Peter Sutcliffe...

    ...was the original truck-driving prostitute slayer. Anyway, Viz made this joke about fifteen years ago.

  47. Richard Evans
    Thumb Down

    Anyone mind telling me why...

    The world has had a sense of humor by-pass?

    Yeah, i mean the world economy is in termoil, there are huge humanitarian issues in Africa but "oh my god what did he just say?! Where is my pen?"

  48. Lex
    IT Angle

    It's Clarkson!

    This is petty. It's Clarkson! He permanently makes statements like this, its part of what makes him funny. Remember the 'running over a fox' incident when he was on a game show panel?

    I'm glad I am not alone in this understanding also, and most public votes I have seen so far about this topic have been 80% towards statements like "It was just a joke, people should get over it".

    The only solace I have is knowing that there is very little chance Clarkson will car about this, or he'll find the media attention to it funny. And good on him.

  49. David Simpson

    Iceni Project

    Brian Tobin, director of The Iceni Project, "a charity which had helped some of the murdered prostitutes in Ipswich"

    I assume that means the Iceni Project helped some of the prostitutes BEFORE they were murdered.

    The UK is now full of people who read newspapers and watch TV Mary Whitehouse style just looking for things to be offended at.


    Yes Clarkson's joke was tasteless but that does not make it unfunny, it was very funny. Much like poor old Ross and Brand, it starting as being a horrific attack on an old man and his young grand daughters dignity and has now turned out that Brand did indeed sleep with her and she is a borderline sex worker who sold her story to the Sun, BRING BACK ROSSY !

  50. Hig Hurtenflurst
    Paris Hilton

    How many?

    IIRC The BBC got two complaints about R&B after the show (i.e. before the media went hatstand about it), so looks like poor old JC is going down for a long stretch!


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