Scenes from the BBC’s One Show, which viewers believed showed Jeremy Clarkson making live controversial comments about striking civil servants and suicide victims, were faked, it emerged last night. In the latest fakery row to hit the Corporation, it has been discovered that the Clarkson interview was in fact pre-recorded and doctored before transmission.
The truth about the sequence was not disclosed in the programme. Only viewers who visited YouTube and stumbled across the original undoctored recording realised that Clarkson was in fact making totally uncontroversial and painfully boring remarks about cars.
Today Jeremy Clarkson, 85, refused to comment on the revelation. Asked whether he thought the clip may have misled viewers, he said as he left his house: "I'm in a real rush, I've got to go and club some seals."
Last night John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport committee, told our reporter: “My view has always been that broadcasters should not seek to give viewers a false impression and it is much better if they are entirely open.
“If Mr Clarkson actually said that the new BMW is actually rather pleasant and he intends to order one in beige, then it's in the public interest that we be allowed to hear his comments. If the truth is that he is a dull, repetitious, completely unbigoted wimp, then the public should not be misled in to thinking that he is some sort of cross between the Duke of Edinburgh and Genghis Khan, purely to boost BBC ratings.”
Past BBC scandals include Children in Need faking Pudsey's eye injury and a trailer for a royal documentary that was edited to make it appear as if the Queen had given a favourable tribute to Princess Diana, in order to avert a crisis in the Monarchy, when she had in fact slagged off the Princess as "that bulimic bastard - she should have been taken out and shot years ago!"