Controversy doesn’t just seem to follow Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear gang, lately it’s been in hot pursuit. Three times in the past year the host and the show have come under fire for alleged inappropriate remarks or provocations. In May, Clarkson was accused of making a racial slur during an unaired episode whose footage leaked online. Prior to that, the BBC apologized for other comments Clarkson made in a Top Gear special filmed in Burma that did air. In 2011, the network’s motoring show was criticized over comments about Mexicans which were perceived as racist. And most recently, the stars and crew of the show were forced to leave Argentina amid angry protests over a license plate that appeared to refer to the Falklands War. The latest incident caused the Argentine ambassador to the UK to ask the BBC for a public apology on Tuesday. A Christmas special was to be shot last month with Clarkson and co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May driving the Patagonian highway to the southernmost city of Ushuaia, BBC News reports. But shooting was curtailed when a Porsche with the plate number H982 FKL provoked anger amongst locals. The show’s cars were abandoned and the crew escorted to the airport after being hit with rocks. A statement from the embassy said Alicia Castro made a formal complaint to the BBC “regarding Jeremy Clarkson’s provocative behavior and offensive remarks towards the government and the Argentine people, following Top Gear‘s recent filming in Argentina. … Furthermore, the Argentine ambassador deeply regretted Jeremy Clarkson’s entirely false accusations of alleged resentment against British citizens in Argentina.” Prior to the request for an apology, Top Gear producer Andy Wilman said the license plate was not deliberately chosen and was “most definitely” not a stunt. A BBC spokeswoman said, “The BBC has received a complaint and will apply its usual processes.”
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FremantleMedia has appointed Samantha Glynne as VP Branded Entertainment in the Digital & Branded Entertainment Division. Based in FremantleMedia’s London office, she will drive branded entertainment activities for FremantleMedia around the world, working with regional commercial and digital teams to deliver brand strategy, lead key relationships with brands and agencies and maximize advertiser engagement on TV and digital platforms. Branded content is an important growth area with Fremantle’s existing key partners including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Ford and Samsung across TV franchises Idols, Got Talent and The X Factor. Glynne formerly was Managing Partner and Director of Channels at Publicis Entertainment in London and Paris and Head of Commercial Content at North One Television/All3Media.
France’s TF1 has long been home to the CSI franchise. Now it’s adding CSI: Cyber to the lineup. CBS Studios International concluded a licensing deal with the broadcaster for exclusive first-window, free-to-air rights. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has grown to be a flagship series for TF1 since first airing in 2001. CSI: Cyber stars Patricia Arquette as a cyber-psychologist who tracks crimes that start in the mind, live online and play out in the real world. James Van Der Beek, Peter MacNicol, Charley Koontz and Shad Moss also star. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television and distributed globally by CBS Studios International.
UK producer 7Wonder has hired Steve Condie as head of specialist factual. The exec previously was with Oxford Scientific Films, where he executive produced a number of series for the BBC and Channel 4, including the Philippa Gregory-presented The Real White Queen, Jimmy Doherty’s Food Prices: The Shocking Truth and BBC Four’s recent music and fashion series Oh You Pretty Things. 7Wonder was launched in March as a joint venture by Australia’s Seven Network and former Maverick Television executives Alexandra Fraser, Liza Abbott and Simon Ellse. Its first commission, Micky Flanagan’s Detour De France, is set to launch this fall on Sky 1.
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