back to article Ofcom rules on Clarkson strumpet gag

Ofcom has ruled that Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson was not in breach of the broadcasting code for a quip he made on the show alluding to lorry drivers murdering prostitutes. Clarkson, 48, was "taking part in a lorry-driving task" during the 2 November pre-watershed show when he said: "Change gear, change gear, check …


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  1. Lloyd

    Is it April already?

    A government body? Common sense prevailing? Surely it's April 1st?

  2. Matt


    how much did it cost for ofcom to come up this this non-news?

  3. rory dobson

    Good Grief!

    Common sense actually prevailed!

  4. david


    ...somebody in power showing some sense?

    Or is this all a dream?

  5. Steven Bloomfield

    I'm shocked!

    Finally a bit of sanity from Ofcom!

    I'm fed up with knee jerk reactions to a few complaints fueled by the media.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    up yours all those people who complained and did not even see the program,,,,

    and JC for PM

    mines the high visibility one

  7. Steve Sutton

    This title contains only question marks (i.e. "???")

    Is it possible?

    Has sanity, balance, and common sense returned to the world of broadcasting?

    Nope, I see that JR hasn't yet been reinstated (no, not the one from the crap yank soap, the funny one who ranks *cough* highly)

    (I know the title doesn't contain only question marks, but is should, however, owing to an apparent bug in el Reg's comment system, the string "???" was not apparently recognised as a title)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they do then?

    I'm no lawyer but surely Clarkson can only have been found not guilty because lorry drivers DO kill prostitutes?

    They pick them up in lay-bys and service stations and murder them - is this the message the BBC are sending out?!

    Well if you live in London then just think the next time you pick a loaf of bread off a supermarket shelf that it was probably delivered in a lorry from the north. And while YOUR loaf was sitting there in the back of a cold lorry parked up around the back of the Watford Gap, a prostitite might have been getting herself murdered by the lorry driver in the front! I hope that bread tastes nice for you because it sure cost a lot more than £1.10.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wot? not intended to offend ?!?

    Sorry, but if that is true I'll stop watching.

    FFS, that's what makes the man so funny. It's programs like Have I Got News and Top Gear that still abhor the Politically Correct wave that has infested all other BBC programming, and their continued popularity demonstrates that there is still an intelligent audience left.

    I suggest the program should be preceded with a warning:

    Warning this program is broadcast after the watershed. If your nature cannot handle anything more than child level or you lack an operable sense of humour, your opportunity to change channel is now.

    I must add this is different from the Brand/Ross row. There is a difference between joking and being quite simply grossly offensive. There is still such a thing as decency.

  10. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    A sensible decision by OFCOM?

    Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Common sense?

    It'll never catch on.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    that reminds me of an Eddie Izzard skit about Pol Pot, jeez your diary must look odd,

    wake up, death, death, death, afternoon tea, death, I hardly manage to get out of bed.

  13. JonRB
    Thumb Up

    Common sense

    Good God. Don't tell me that some official body has actually shown some common sense!

  14. mittfh
    IT Angle

    Ho hum...

    I heard on the Beeb that apparently the Road Hauliers' Association and Eddie Stobart have also been dismissive of the complaints against Jezza. This is on a completely different scale and context to "Manuelgate", but just goes to prove you can't please all the people all the time - and some of those who aren't pleased will inevitably file a complaint...

    Still can't see the IT angle though...

  15. Glyn


    Do any of these people watch Mock the week?

    They'd foam at the mouth and die at pretty much everything frankie boyle says

  16. John Imrie

    BBC grows backbone

    There's hope yet in the world.

    Any way I thought there where only two reasons to watch Top Gear

    1) To be offended by Clarkson

    2) Watch the producers try and kill Richard Hammond.

    I believe there is an other presenter but for some reason my mind drops into a stupor when he appears and I can't remember his name.

  17. pctechxp

    humourless dipsticks

    Is Britain being taken over by people with no humour.

    I bet half of them found it on youtube.

    Keep up the humour Clarkson

    P.S, hope this is published and not dropped like my A380 comment.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    fair judgement

    Labour MP Chris Mole - JC 0-1

  19. martin

    Breaking news

    OFCOM Sense of Humour implant trials successful, rollout to Daily Mail subscribers mooted.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    the gag had me in stitches

    I'm a prostitute and now I know why

  21. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Never understood the reasoning of the "insult"

    It was derogatory about TRUCKERS, not women. It didn't intimate in any possible form that truckers are allowed to murder women. So I never understood why it was "it's an insult to women" and "Hurtful to those who lost loved ones". If it had been a bunch of truckers or a trucker union complaining that their members were being maligned, I could understand.



    Icon for obvious reasons.

  22. Liam


    a point for common sense!

    give em hell jezza... if you cant take a joke can you please fuck off!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    At last

    Common sense prevails

  24. Shades

    Common sense...


    Shurely theres some mistake?!

  25. Wize


    They never bother getting a headcount of people who are happy with the comment.

    Glad he ain't going. But maybe its because I dislike lorry drivers. Not all of them, just the ones that tailgate you in heavy traffic and carve you up on the roads.

  26. Joe K


    Charlie Brookers Screenwipe had a great bit about this.

    He said that the moronic public had become so accustomed to controlling TV shows with phone votes, thanks to pretty much every show having phone polls now, that they feel that all TV is under their control.

    And after the Ross/Brand fiasco the phone gimps just couldn't wait to exercise some more power over the gogglebox and try and influence a show.

    Charlie then said that we should have a counter-vote system. Everyone who phones up and says "i wasn't offended" cancels out a moan from the mouth-breathers.

    Good stuff.

  27. JP Strauss

    Take Clarkson off the air...

    ...and you are left with something similar to the clearly inferior 5th Gear.

    Clarkson for President!

    You thought I was a libby for a second there, didn't you!

  28. Omer Ozen
    Thumb Up

    At last!

    Common sense prevails.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    how terribly sensible...

    but if he had suggested that all lorry drivers were rapists that might not have been considered exaggerated humour!

    mine's the one with the head of a prozzy and a yorkie bar in the pocket

  30. Gary

    This is why...

    ...Clarkson is different to Russel Brand.

    Clarkson has the image and humour to tell a joke that is mildly offensive, but obviously a joke.

    Brand on the other hand is just a talentless git who couldn't tell a joke to save his career.

    Mines the one with the Clarkson DVDs and books in the pocket.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Sensible decisions from OfCom???

    Bring on the Daily Fail 'Sack OfCom' campaign....

  32. Andy


    freaking pinko lefty communist thought police. grow a spine.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Clarkson was kind to Lorry Drivers

    Compared to what your average car driver has to say about Lorry drivers- Clarkson was being very kind.

    I think Lorrys should be banned from overtaking each other - clogging up the overtaking lane for 5 minutes in the process - only to travel exactly the same speed before overtaking.

    Lorry drivers should be banned from UK trains - let's move goods with trains and small vans - and let's not give Lorry drivers an excuse for existing.


    Ban Lorrys from overtaking.

    Double the fuel tax on HGV.

    Use Airships to deliver goods instead and let the car driver have carte blanch on the road.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    To echo almost everyone else.

    Must be very cold in Hell today !

  35. Paolo
    Thumb Up

    Victory for common sense

    That is all

  36. Joe
    Thumb Up


    common sense prevails

  37. James
    Thumb Up

    Common sense prevails!

    Quick, somebody check to see if it's the 1st of April.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good on Offcom

    Offcom rules that complaints prompted by rivals of the BBC (The Murdock and Barclay Brothers' press/Telly) are not baseless. Good on em.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    2 other possible sub-headings:

    1) Committee make a sensible, reasoned decision backed up with common sense SHOCKER!

    2) Labour MP makes bad call SHOCK!

    The worrying part is that only number 1 is sincere.

  40. Jamie


    Is it actually possible, a gov't ("INDEPENDENT") panel has used common sense, maybe there is hope for the world.

  41. Stuza

    Did it really?

    Common sense just prevail? Think i'm going to have to read this again .... and again....

  42. Greg

    Bugger me!

    That almost sounds like....sense!

    I have to go lie down.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speeding vs Road Deaths

    I went to check a number that always bothered me yesterday and this is as good a car related article to rant at as any.

    Remember the claim that there is an 80% survival chance for a collision between pedestrian and car at 30mph, but only 10% survival at 40mph?

    (Source Ashton and Mackay 1979)

    It comes from a study from 1979, there's something flawed going on here revealed by this FOI request:

    Notice the graph on page 3, notice that the MAJORITY OF ACCIDENTS HAPPEN AT LOW SPEEDS.

    PR = Probability of accident being fatal

    NF = Number of fatal accidents at a given speed

    NT = Total number of accidents at a given speed

    PR = NF/NT

    You are given the impression that as speed goes up, NF, the number of fatal accidents increases dramatically, but that is not true, as speed goes up NT, the *total* number of accidents DECREASES dramatically. The real data shows NF hardly changes, it's the total number of accidents that changes.

    AS A RATIO the probability of an accident being fatal increases, but actually the probability of accidents decreases as speeds increase.

    Obviously the faster roads are in places with fewer pedestrians and so have fewer accidents making the deaths as a ratio of speed increase dramatically. It is not that forcing drivers to slow down to 30mph reduces deaths from 80% to 10%, it does not. It increases the number of non fatal accidents because there are more pedestrians in slower speed limit zones!

    The info shows the way to reduce traffic accidents is to keep cars and people separated, e.g. railing at crossings, cul-de-sacs, designated crossing, cycleways separate from roads, etc. but this government want the lower speed limit as the fix, so they misrepresent the numbers and instead we have speed cams (make you look out for the cameras and at your speedo, rather than the road) and speed humps (a jolt to distract you from pedestrians) and traffic calming (my pet hate, you CANNOT see the road ahead because it swerves left and right with parked cars alternately left and right to block the view ahead, and children can't see the oncoming cars for the same reason = lots more blind corners created by these zig-zag layouts).

    The end result of this bullshit? A slight increase in road deaths the last two years.


  44. Daniel Silver badge

    Reason prevails


    That is all.

  45. Vincent

    Outbreak of common sense?

    "To restrict humour only to material which does not cause offence would be an unnecessary restriction of freedom of expression."

    Now can people stop crying over nothing?

  46. The Other Steve
    Thumb Up

    An unexpected victory for common sense

    And one in the eye for whiny self righteous fucktards everywhere. Yay Offcom.

    I'm off to dance on Mary Whitehouse's grave to celebrate. It's been a while.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    WoW I'm Soo Lucky... in 2005...

    I got Bumped into!... as apposed to Bumped OFF! by Steve Write.

    (he was driving that purple mondeo at the time)

    ]:) he needed a new front bumper after ramming me on a pedestrian crossing. TOWBAR 4 The Win! :)

    hehehe i even got his address details in Ipswich :)

    as soon as he'd sorted out the paperwork and the excuses that his misses would KILL! him

    (if she found out he was back in Norwich),

    he was off trawling the local kerb krawling hotspots for girls....

    Funny, i didn't see that girl on the streets again, that he was chatting to ;p

    looks like it was a close shave for me ;)

  48. Vincent

    Re: John Imrie

    "I believe there is an other presenter but for some reason my mind drops into a stupor when he appears and I can't remember his name."

    That'll be James May. The guy with the long hair.

  49. Neil

    Thank goodness

    339 people complained. 5,999,661 didn't (based on 6m viewing figures).

    If such a small minority could cause havoc by complaining when the vast majority were in favour then it would have said something about the future of mankind. With this decision, there is at least some hope.

    When JC becomes PM, at least.

  50. Brezin Bardout

    RE Speeding vs Road deaths


    So let me get this straight. Slower speeds equal more accidents, higher speeds equal less.

    A 70mph speed limit outside my son's nursery would therefore be a better thing than the traffic calming measures that are there now. Then all the idiot drivers can have their extra 5 minutes in bed on a morning, safe in the knowledge that the faster they go the less likely they are to kill anyone. Excellent, problem solved.

    "It is not that forcing drivers to slow down to 30mph reduces deaths from 80% to 10%, it does not. It increases the number of non fatal accidents because there are more pedestrians in slower speed limit zones!"

    Maybe it increases the number of non fatal accidents because less pedestrians are killed.

    As for keeping cars and people separated, I've always thought a better solution is to keep idiots separated from their cars.

  51. Anton Ivanov

    Re: Speeding vs Road Deaths

    These stats are from before cars began to be designed with crumple zones and "soft" pedestrian-friendly bonnets and are totally worthless.

    As far as the article, sorry, but I nearly nearly choked on my tea when reading that "Clarkson did not intend to offend". That is what he does for a living. If he did not intend to offend and if he did not offend everyone and everything on a casual basis he would not be Clarkson.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    @ Speeding vs Road Deaths

    "make you look out for the cameras and at your speedo, rather than the road"

    You don't have to constantly stare at the speedo to know how fast you are going do you?

    "speed humps (a jolt to distract you from pedestrians)"

    Then slow down when you traverse them!

    "traffic calming (my pet hate, you CANNOT see the road ahead because it swerves left and right with parked cars alternately left and right to block the view ahead, and children can't see the oncoming cars for the same reason = lots more blind corners created by these zig-zag layouts)."

    That's the point, it reduces the distance you can brake in safely, and so reduces your speed. The residents of new and refurbed estates ask for this as they prefer the traffic to be slower and it turns the road into much more of a community area than a rat run.

    Where has this view that the Government wants to reduce speed limits in urban areas just to spite the motorist come from? Do you by chance read the Daily Fail?

    Of course, if people weren't going to be silly in their cars and actually drive sensibly we wouldn't need rules at all would we?

  53. blackworx

    @AC 11:56

    What on earth are you on about? Have the strangers put something in your tea? Those ads and that statistic are aimed at people who habitually speed in built up areas. What you're saying basically amounts to: speed away, you're less likely to have an accident and therefore kill someone if you do. No offence, but you're talking bollocks.

  54. Simon Orr

    A GOOD decision by a UK body?

    Wow, finally a good decision by a UK body - If you're easily offended, don't watch the TV after 9 o'clock.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @So they do then?

    Yeah - damn it, if that lazy basterd hadn't been so busy killing hookers he'd of delivered the goods quicker and my bread would of been a fraction of a penny cheaper! They need to develop a way of killing hookers on the move! Now that's an efficency drive.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    ...or *crumpet*?

    Paris, because... well...

  57. Anonymous Coward

    Nice work Ofcom

    a popular game in this household is "Clarkson Bingo": simply watch Top Gear and, using your skill and judgement, pick out which of his utterances are going to upset The Daily Mail and/or some other pressure group you've never heard of which would like some free publicity that week.

    Disappointingly, his comment this week about Greenham Common campaigners all being lesbians seems to have not lit the fires just yet...

  58. Rick Brasche
    IT Angle

    common sense? don't worry, this shall pass

    for every common sense action, government comes up with a lot more stupid ones. Next time some Muslim gets offended over the merest stretch of possible insult, there will be a massive crackdown.

    Funny, seeing you Brits complaining about the accidents you get into with them, all the while insulting them..maybe they ain't accidents?

    Common sense dictates-Never Argue With A Vehicle Bigger Than Yours.

  59. Tom

    room for one more on the band wagon?

    339 complainants? I wonder how many of them actually watched the show...

  60. michael

    re @ Speeding vs Road Deaths

    "You don't have to constantly stare at the speedo to know how fast you are going do you?"

    yes you do cos you can not tell the diffrence between 30 and 40 (plese do not tell me you can cos you can not especley if you drive diffrnt cars a lot) I tryed driving on a dule carage way at 60 and if i did not look at the s[peedo regulay I found my self drifting up to nealy 80

  61. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Rick Brasche

    Re: Never Argue......

    Too true, too true. I remember once (many moons gone in an early job) very nearly having a nasty head on as I wondered why the approaching tranny van wasn't giving way to me.

    The problem turned out to be (as I realised at the last moment when my conscious mind took over from the autopilot) that I was on my way home in my car at the time, having left the 3 ton truck I'd been driving all day at work............

  62. N

    Clarkson for PM

    & free petrol for all who enjoy using it

    Thats all

  63. Rob McCleave

    Good Ruling

    But Clarkson is still a twat.

    And the joke wasn't funny.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I will approach this in 2 different ways:

    Firstly I will take your post at face value and try to answer it as best I can -->

    In order to maintain a reasonable speed you only need to look at your speedo every now and again, basically at the same time that you scan your other instruments for warning lights etc.

    Any decent driver will be able to tell if their speed creeps up or down by the engine pitch and the fact that stationary objects are passing rather faster than before. Any driver not able to do this to a reasonable degree should really be reconsidering if it is in anyone's best interest that they retain their driving license without further training.

    Secondly I will take your post as a non-serious trolling / joke attempt -->

    It is plainly obvious from your spelling, grammar and overall writing style that you are 13 and have never driven a car in your life. Kindly go back to your searching for pictures of naked celebrities and leave talking to the grown-ups.

  65. Barry Mahon

    Why compare Clarkson to a real tv show?

    IMO, anyone who relates Have I Got News For You and Clarkson and Co's antics deserves to be condemned to watch Clarkson re-runs for a year......

    There is no comparison, HIGNFY has intelligent interaction between the participants and clever joke creation. TG has none of this. In addition I understand that those sad people who stand in that hanger actually pay...... It says everything about the show and its audience....

    As to the remarks, what the hell to you expect? He is a moron and his comments were moronic.

  66. James
    Thumb Up

    Clarkson re-runs?

    Better than most of the shite on TV these days :)

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope...

    that Clarkson has a few comments regarding this.

    Just like the last episode, maybe they will drop a piano on a prostitutes head...

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