'National stereotyping part of Top Gear'

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Old 06-Feb-2011
'National stereotyping part of Top Gear'

The BBC has apologised to Mexico's ambassador for remarks on its Top Gear programme that described Mexicans as lazy and oafish.

The BBC wrote to Ambassador Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza on Thursday, saying that national stereotyping is part of British humour and that the presenters did not intend to be vindictive.

"We are sorry if we have offended some people, but jokes centred on national stereotyping are a part of Top Gear's humour."

The remarks came in a segment in which presenter Richard Hammond claimed that cars imitate national characteristics. "Mexican cars are just going to be a lazy, feckless, flatulent, oaf with a moustache leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat," he said.

The ambassador in turn, wrote to the BBC earlier this week, complaining about the "bigotry and ignorance", of the presenters.

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