Top Gear presenters misused alcohol, BBC says

02 July, 2008

Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May have been criticised by the BBC Trust for drinking alcohol while driving on the show.

Trustees upheld viewer complaints that the presenters acted irresponsibly by drinking while driving to the North Pole in a show on BBC2 last year.

They have requested the programme is not repeated before the 9pm Watershed, unless the drink driving scenes are edited out.

The ruling is embarrassing for the BBC given current concerns on under-age and responsible drinking.

Around one in 10 Top Gear viewers were often under 16, Trustees said, judging that “given some children might regard the presenters as role-models, the scenes could be seen to glamorise the misuse of alcohol”.

They noted, however, that the team “were not seen in the film to be drunk or out of control of the vehicle”, and that filming took place in international territory beyond the jurisdiction of any drink driving laws.

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