So it seems Jeremy Clarkson has once more emerged relatively unscathed from his latest controversy.
The Top Gear presenter put his foot in it yet again during an episode broadcast in February when he likened the design of a Toyota Prius campervan to someone with a “growth” on their face.
While Ofcom originally cleared Top Gear of the incident back in May, the BBC has finally been forced to concede that referring to facial growths as “really ugly things” was not perhaps the wisest move and ruled that the ever-retiring Clarkson did indeed breach guidelines by playing on a “stereotypical negative reaction”.
With Top Gear pulling in an average of 5 million viewers, however, the 137 complaints these remarks prompted can hardly be enough to disturb Clarkson who has, after all, faced much worse.
The BBC also seemed keen to shoulder some of the blame admitting the exchange was pre-scripted and that the editorial team and compliance system were just as much to blame and “arguably more so”.
Indeed Clarkson has not even had to stir himself to muster up an apology.
During the exchange Clarkson also slurred his words to mimic the ‘Elephant Man’ Joseph Merrick while Richard Hammond coined the term “Elephant Car”. This, however, was deemed to be “on the margins of acceptability”.
As the Editorial Standards Committee pointed out, this was not intentionally offensive to a wider group of people as it was aimed at only one individual. I can only assume whoever was responsible for this logic has been spending too much time with Mr Clarkson himself.
The reality is that while Top Gear continues to draw in the biggest audience for a BBC2 show, the outspoken presenter will be able to get away with almost anything. The humour is, after all, the thing that sets it apart from being a show purely about cars.
All that the complaints against him seem to achieve is to garner excess publicity for the programme, and prompt a further wave of support from those sat on internet forums eager to declare their appreciation for the very non-PC banter.
The fact remains that Clarkson (who has just signed a three year deal to continue hosting the show) enjoys riling people and will continue to do so while he can get away with it, and most probably afterwards too.
It does make you wonder though, how many more negative stereotypes he has left to add to his ever growing list? But as it transpires we now have at least three more years to see the answer to that.