BBC doesn’t trust us, says Top Gear boss

Time 7 years ago

subarutopgearONE of the bosses of Top Gear believes the BBC will commission another series – despite one of the most turbulent years in the programme’s controversial history.

But Andy Wilman, Top Gear’s executive producer, says he feels the BBC ‘does not trust’ the show any more.

In an interview in Broadcast magazine, Wilman admits the Burma special, where Jeremy Clarkson used the racial slur ‘slope’, was ‘not defensible’.

He said he was ‘bored’ defending the Argentina two-part special that sparked controversy in South America over the number plate H982 FKL, which appeared to refer to the 1982 Falklands War and angered locals so much the crew were chased out of Argentina by veterans and pelted with rocks.

‘The number plates were a coincidence,’ Wilman said.

Asked whether Top Gear received enough support from the BBC when it is under fire, he said: ‘Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

‘What the BBC like about Top Gear is when it’s naughty but it’s all under control.

‘We walk a tightrope most of the time. Sometimes we’re going to fall off it. And if you do, that’s when the BBC is not a fan. Sometimes, I feel they don’t trust us at heart.

‘Ofcom has found us in breach of the Broadcasting Code only twice since 2002. You can’t achieve that kind of record if the show itself isn’t smart about what it’s doing.

‘Talks about a deal for a new series on BBC Two are ongoing but I would hope and think we would continue.

‘We’re still talking to them and our appetite is still there. We love the BBC. It’s a wonderful place to be.

‘They’re willing to recommission Top Gear because the show is working and it’s still a good thing to have in the mix.

‘I could do with a bit less telling off, but there you go.’

Top Gear is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most-watched factual TV show.

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Colin Channon's avatar

Colin is a former editor of Car Dealer. He left the magazine in August 2015.

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