ENTERTAINMENT

Jeremy Clarkson Rails Against BBC Executives, Says They Argued With Him Over His Dog's Name

'You can’t call your black dog after a black football player'.

19/03/2016 12:28 GMT | Updated 19/03/2016 12:29 GMT
Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Jeremy Clarkson has spoken out about his turbulent relationship with BBC executives, saying one even suggested his dog's name was racist.

In an interview with The Times, he recalled a number of clashes with his former bosses while hosting Top Gear over politics, the death of his mother and whether he could name a black dog after a black football player.

Mr Clarkson, whose contract was not renewed last year after he punched a Top Gear producer, singled out Danny Cohen, previously BBC director of television.

He claimed Mr Cohen called him into his office to ask if he had really named his black dog, a highland terrier "Didier Dogba", after Didier Drogba, who was then playing for Clarkson's team, Chelsea.

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Mr Clarkson told The Times Magazine: “I confirmed it was true. He said, ‘What colour is it?’ And I said, ‘It’s black.’

"And he said, ‘You can’t call your black dog after a black football player.’ So I said, ‘Why not? Would you rather I called it John Terrier?’ ”

Mr Clarkson, who was interviewed while filming the new, still unnamed Amazon Prime version of the show in Barbados, said "Danny and I were, and I suspect will remain for ever, very far apart on every single thing.

"Normally, you could find some common ground with somebody, but I think Danny and I could probably only get on perfectly well so long as we absolutely never had to think about each other for the rest of the time.

"Because I don't mind anyone having an opinion that's different to mine, just so long as they don't mind my opinion either. So long as it doesn't impinge on what I want to do."

The Times quoted a source close to Mr Cohen, who said: "Danny has no interest in responding to inaccurate claims, but remains proud to have taken action against a man who saw fit to punch a colleague."