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'Sack Jeremy Clarkson to make a real statement on racism'

UNDERFIRE: Clarkson (PA)

JEREMY CLARKSON’S career at the BBC has come under further pressure after the editor of The Voice newspaper called on the broadcaster to sack the Top Gear presenter for using the N-word if it "really wanted to make a statement" about tackling racism.

Britain’s biggest black newspaper’s chief George Ruddock said the BBC “should take more serious action” after it emerged Clarkson said “n****r” when reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe.

The controversial presenter, who has sparked furore on multiple occasions before on issues concerning race and nationality, mentioned the N-Word while filming for the motoring show in 2009 in a clip never broadcast, but the recording was released on Wednesday (Apr 30) by the Daily Mirror.

Clarkson originally denied using the racial slur, but then backtracked and admitted mumbling the N-word while making a grovelling video apology that was posted online last night.

Speaking about the latest race controversy to engulf Clarkson, Ruddock said: “If you were in a normal workplace and that was used, it would certainly call for disciplinary action.

“How often is he going to keep apologising for these things?”

He added: “There are grounds for gross [misconduct] dismissal, and an apology for casual racism is not enough.

“The BBC should fine him at least, and if they really want to make a statement then sack him from the show [Top Gear].”

Clarkson has been in trouble before over comments he made about comedian Lenny Henry and naming his black dog after former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.

The BBC presenter has also courted outrage over comments he made about Mexicans, Indians and calling a Burmese man a “slope”, a term considered a racial slur in other parts of the world, in an episode of Top Gear filmed in Burma.

Clarkson appears to be skating on thin ice after the BBC issued a strong statement emphasising how seriously the broadcaster is taking his latest gaffe.

It said: “Jeremy Clarkson has set out the background to this regrettable episode. We have made it absolutely clear to him the standards the BBC expects on air and off.

“We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this.”

Speaking in an article published today in the Sun, the paper he writes a column for, Clarkson said: “I wish to God my attempts to cover up that word were better.

“I was simply mumbling - saying 'ner ner' or something similar. Anything but the N-word.

“It was my mistake and I apologise for not covering it up. But if you look closely at the footage, you can see what I'm trying to do.”

Clarkson declined a request to be interviewed by the The Voice.

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