New Top Gear host Chris Evans has hailed Jeremy Clarkson as a “hero” and described his sacking last year as bizarre. “If you look at the chronology of controversy of Top Gear over the last five or six years, it is bizarre that he went for losing his rag over his dinner when there had been international incidents before that,” Evans said. “What is more fascinating is that he went for what he went for, considering what had gone on before.”
Clarkson of course was suspended following a lengthy “fracas” after he punched Oisin Tymon, a Top Gear producer. The incident occurred after Clarkson was told there was no hot food available after a long day of filming.
During his career as Top Gear host, Clarkson was accused of making several xenophobic or racist comments, including saying a car manufactured in Mexico would be lazy, and calling Romania “Borat country, with gypsies and Russian playboys,” causing local unrest. He also faced a mob in Argentina after driving a car with the number-plate H982 FKL, which many Argentinians believed was a reference to the Falklands War.
Clarkson also suggested that Koreans at Hyundai ate spaniels, and in May last year a tape emerged of him potentially saying the n-word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny Meeny Miney Mo. During a Top Gear trip through Burma, Clarkson used the word “slope” as an Asian man crossing a bridge built over the River Kwai and landed himself in hot water. “No one gave a shit in Asia,” Clarkson said. “They were alerted to the fact that there was a ‘deeply racist’ slur in the footage, and said, ‘That’s not deeply racist,’ and transmitted it unedited. Which is what I thought would happen.”
Despite these issues, Clarkson escaped the sack until a single punch brought him undone. Evans told GQ magazine Clarkson remained a “hero” of his. “We used to get on. I don’t know if we still get on because I haven’t seen him in ages,” Evans said. “But he is one of my heroes. He’s entertaining. He was great on Top Gear and I love his writing. He is funny. He de-constructs things really well. They say if you can explain complicated things to a six-year-old you know what you’re talking about, and I am like his six-year-old.”