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Monday, 26 October, 1998, 14:38 GMT
Clarkson in the doghouse
jeremy clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson: Alleged to have said staff at Hyundai eat dog
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is in trouble with a car company after claims he made "bigoted and racist" comments at the Motor Show in Birmingham.

Hyundai UK claim he told visitors to the BBC Two show's stand that its staff had all eaten dog.

He also allegedly said one of the South Korean-based company's designers had probably eaten a spaniel.

Complaint sent to BBC

Hyundai UK spokesman Stephen Kitson said a letter of complaint had been sent to the BBC.

"What was reported back to me was that he said the people on the Hyundai stand had eaten dog, and that the designer of one of our cars, the XG, had probably eaten a spaniel for lunch.

"Our people on the stand, which is right next to Top Gear's, are offended by these comments. They are bigoted and racist and deliberately vindictive."

'Constant culinary carping'

He added: "Jeremy can say whatever he wants about our motor vehicles," but he said he wanted the TV presenter's "constant carping about Korean culinary habits" to stop.

"When he drives a French car it is not as if he says that the French eat horses and frogs," he said.

Hyundai UK is a separate outfit from the Korean company, working under a franchise to import and distribute its cars in Britain.

The company is not the only one taken aback by Clarkson.

'Called Germans Nazis'

BMW's public affairs manager Chris Willows said he had been told Clarkson had allegedly referred to Germans as Nazis, but the company will not be complaining.

"He has been given the benefit of the doubt," he said.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Jeremy's colourful comments are always entertaining, but they are his own comments and not those of the BBC.

"More often than not they are said with a twinkle in his eye."

See also:

19 Oct 98 | The Company File
Hyundai wins Kia auction
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