To be frank, there probably isn’t enough room on the page to list all of the controversies Top Gear has been involved in since the Show was launched for a second time in 2002. Therefore, it’s probably best to stick to the most talked about and most recent ones. Starting back in 2011 when the BBC was forced to apologise to Mexico and Mexicans for comments made by their presenters during an episode. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May labelled Mexicans as ‘lazy’ and ‘feckless’. Clarkson went on to state that there was no need to worry about any complaints coming from Mexico because they would all be sleeping and therefore not see the show. 

A year later, Top Gear was back in the crosshairs, this time around for a breach in guidelines on disability.

The incident took place during the review of a Prius camper van, Clarkson compared the design of the car to people with facial growths, stating that one would not be able to speak to it at a party unless they were looking away from it. Several complaints were received during the show and once again, the BBC was forced to issue an apology.

However, 2014 was by far the most disastrous year for the show in terms of criticism - in fact Top Gear’s executive producer Andy Wilman has described the year just passed as the programme’s “annus horribilis”. This after the show was reprimanded on two occasions for racial slurs used by Jeremy Clarkson. Firstly during their Burma Special when he referred to a bridge having a ‘slope’ as an Asian man crossed it, and secondly when footage of Clarkson allegedly using the n-word was leaked to the Daily Mirror.

The negative year was capped off during the filming of the Patagonia special, which aired as part of the latest season. The camera crew and presenters were attacked by a mob of Falklands War veterans in Argentina: the motive for the attack was the number plate used on the car driven by Clarkson, H982 FLK. The mob believed the number plate was selected specifically as a reference to the war, and forced the camera crew convoy to be escorted by police to the Chilean border.