Jeremy Clarkson in 'special needs' row
Published 03/08/2010 | 09:53
Jeremy Clarkson, the Top Gear presenter, has become embroiled in a row with disability campaigners after using the term "special needs" to describe a car.
His comments came during an episode of the BBC Two show broadcast on Sunday when he compared two Ferraris to each other, arguing that the new model made its forerunner look like a "simpleton".
The older car, the 430 Speciale, ought to be rebranded the "430 Speciale Needs", he concluded, to the horror of some viewers.
Last year the presenter was forced to apologise for offending the Scottish and the disabled after referring to Gordon Brown, then the prime minister, as a "one-eyed Scottish idiot".
Clarkson said at the time: "I have nothing against the Scottish and of course I regret making any remark that might have upset the disabled.
"But the idiot bit – there is no chance I'll apologise for that."
He also provoked a number of complaints last week after claiming that he had seen a woman wearing a g-string and stockings underneath her burka after she tripped up while crossing the road.
Speaking after his latest remarks, Suzi Browne, of the National Autistic Society, told the Daily Mirror: "To use terms such as special needs in a derogatory or flippant manner only perpetuates the prejudice and bullying which people with disabilities have to cope with."
Mo Gilbert, the mother of a 17-year-old child who has autism and Asperger's syndrome, added: "It's a disgusting thing to say. It's no joke having a disability".
The BBC declined to comment.