Page last updated at 08:56 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 09:56 UK

ITV cleared over 'pikey' comment

Martin Brundle
Martin Brundle is a former Formula One driver

ITV has escaped punishment after the word "pikey" - a slang term for gypsy - was used in a sports broadcast in June.

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

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

Media regulator Ofcom said it would take no action after ITV apologised and addressed the issue with its presenter.

The broadcaster argued that "pikey" was now used more widely but conceded that it still remains a derogatory term.

It added that Brundle was unaware of the potential racial or ethnic connotations and so had not meant to cause any offence towards the travelling communities.

After the show ITV received 22 complaints from viewers over the remark while Ofcom received 14.

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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