Richard Hammond has been criticised for linking eating ice cream with being gay on the latest episode of the Grand Tour, the motoring show he co-hosts with Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
The exchange occurred on Happy Finnish Christmas, the sixth episode of the first season of the Grand Tour, which broadcast on Amazon Prime on 23 December.
In front of a live audience, Clarkson pointed to an image of the interior of a Rolls Royce, saying: “The only problem is that in one of those, you couldn’t enjoy a chocolate Magnum ice cream.”
“It’s all right, I don’t eat ice cream,” replied Hammond. “It’s something to do with being straight.”
Clarkson and May appeared taken aback as members of the studio audience applauded and cheered.
“Why are you applauding him?” Clarkson, apparently aghast, asked the crowd. “What do you mean? … You’re saying all children are homosexual?”
Hammond dug further into his opinion that “ice cream is a bit – you know”, adding: “There’s nothing wrong with it, but a grown man eating an ice cream – it’s that way, rather than that way… I’m right. I can’t believe you can’t see that. It’s easy. It’s in front of you.”
Clarkson and Hammond then joked about “the chocolate thingy” in a 99 ice cream cone, with the latter declaring: “My case rests!”
The exchange was met with disdain on Twitter. “Excuse me while I gag on my Cornetto,” tweeted Olly Alexander, the lead singer of the British electronic pop trio Years & Years.