BBC TV show 'Top Gear' incurs India wrath

Indian diplomats protested about a special edition of the BBC's popular "Top Gear" motoring show, claiming it had given a "disgusting" portrayal of their country.

"Top Gear" presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who has upset Mexico in the past and last month joked that striking British workers should be shot, was filmed on location in India with a Jaguar car which had a toilet fixed to the boot.

Clarkson said the portable toilet was "perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots", referring to an upset stomach.

In another prank, the programme makers hung banners on trains reading "British IT is good for your company" and "Eat English muffins". The messages became obscene when the carriages parted and the signs ripped apart.

Raja Sekhar from the Indian High Commission in London said Indian officials had supplied the BBC with assistance to make the programme, but had been misled about its content.

He said a letter had been sent to the BBC to "convey our strong disappointment".

"We were very actively helping out facilitating the visit but they ran down the whole society, culture and people. It's really disgusting," he said.

"We have a very close relationship with and respect for the BBC. The BBC is probably more admired in India than in England so we feel a bit let down."

The BBC was forced to apologise to the Mexican ambassador to Britain last year after Clarkson and co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond said a Mexican car brand, Mastretta, reflected national characteristics -- "lazy, feckless, flatulent".

May described Mexican food as "like sick with cheese on it", while Clarkson said they would not receive any complaints about the show because "at the Mexican embassy, the ambassador is going to be sitting there with a remote control like this (snores)".

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We have received a letter from the Indian High Commission and will respond to them in due course."

Top Gear is sold in 198 territories worldwide.

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