Page last updated at 09:14 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 10:14 UK

Ofcom assessing ITV 'pikey' jibe

Martin Brundle
Brundle made the remarks on Sunday, before a race won by Robert Kubica

Media regulator Ofcom is to consider if broadcasting rules were broken when the word "pikey" - a slang term for gypsy - was used in ITV1's sports coverage

Commentator Martin Brundle was interviewing Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone before the Canadian Grand Prix, where part of the track crumbled.

"There are some pikeys there at turn 10 putting tarmac down - what do you think of that," he asked Ecclestone.

Ofcom said it had received seven complaints. ITV said sorry to viewers.

A "small number" of people had contacted the network after Sunday's broadcast, an ITV spokesman said.

"We apologise for any offence," he added.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said the regulator would assess the interview to see if there had been a potential breach of its broadcasting code.

If this was felt to be the case, a formal investigation would then begin, she added.

Brundle was a Formula One driver throughout the 1980s and 1990s and has won awards for his work as a commentator for ITV.

He is known for his "walk-and-talk" technique, where he prowls around the starting grid before races to interview drivers and celebrity spectators.

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