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'Top Gear' host Clarkson apologizes over allegations he used racist language during filming

FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2011 file photo, TV host Jeremy Clarkson arrives for the GQ Men of the Year Awards in London. “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson has apologized and asked for forgiveness following allegations that he used racist language while he was shooting an episode of the popular BBC show. The BBC said Friday May 2, 2014 it is taking the allegations seriously. (AP Photo/Jonathan Short, File)

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FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2011 file photo, TV host Jeremy Clarkson arrives for the GQ Men of the Year Awards in London. “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson has apologized and asked for forgiveness following allegations that he used racist language while he was shooting an episode of the popular BBC show. The BBC said Friday May 2, 2014 it is taking the allegations seriously. (AP Photo/Jonathan Short, File)

LONDON - "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson has apologized and asked for forgiveness following allegations that he used racist language while he was shooting an episode of the popular BBC show.

Clarkson became embroiled in a racism controversy after a tabloid published a clip of him apparently using the N-word while reciting the nursery rhyme "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe" during filming. The clip, recorded several years ago, was never broadcast.

Clarkson initially denied using racist language. But he later said he "mumbled where the offensive word would normally occur" despite trying not to, and that he was mortified by the mistake.

The BBC said Friday it is taking the incident seriously.

Clarkson, a household name in Britain, had previously sparked complaints with allegedly racist comments about people from Mexico and Asia.

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