So the lads from TOP GEAR, those witty English hosts of the BBC’s most popular international export, have moved on from their controversial comments about Mexico. Now the focus is Albania.
As The Guardian reported on Monday, host Jeremy Clarkson, whose rather bizarre “apology” to Mexico was published in THE SUN last Sunday, focuses on the little European country that borders Greece. Next up? The Albania crime mafia, a bank robbery, and a police chase. The Guardian writes:
“Apparently, what happens is Albanians go to England, get a job, buy a car and then bring it back with them,” Clarkson said in one segment of the programme, in which the three presenters had gone ostensibly to road-test cars for a mafia boss.
“And it is quite traditional when you bring a car back like that, that you drive it around with the door locks pulled out and sometimes little marks along the back of the door,” chimed Richard Hammond, amid clumsily mocked surprise that some of the imported cars might be stolen.
Luckily for the BBC, it seems that Albanian diplomats take such slurs more phlegmatically than their Mexican counterparts.
While sources at the Albanian embassy admitted last night that the mafia stereotype could be a trying one, they noted that the ambassador himself had opted to accept the insults without complaint. His view was sought after two embassy staff attended the filming of the show’s studio segments and one was understood to have become angry at the tone.
The article continues:
While there was some outraged reaction to last night’s show on Twitter, others claimed the programme had inspired them to visit Albania, a country whose scenic beauty Clarkson acknowledged – but only after drawing laughs from the studio audience with stories of how an Albanian government minister had been embarrassed after his car was found to be stolen at a Greek police checkpoint.
Here is a video clip from the show, where the lads rob a bank and get chased by Albanian police:
The reaction has not been as intense as the one the lads received from the infamous Mexico segment, which will not be aired in Australia or on BBC America in the United States. But, from the looks of it, TOP GEAR will continue to poke fun at countries and maybe in the end no lesson will be learned. Too bad the Albania car chase wasn’t funny.
Sorry, Jeremy. Looking forward to that pint.