The first episode of Jeremy Clarkson’s new Amazon show was a massive hit with his millions of fans on Friday night – but, as ever, there was more than a little whiff of controversy.
This time the outspoken presenter has been blasted for dubbing the show’s racetrack ‘the Eboladrome’. “It even looks dangerous on a map, because as you can see it’s the exact same shape as the ebola virus,” Clarkson guffawed during the series opener.
Cameras then switched to an aerial image of the ex-RAF site in Wiltshire alongside one of the virus so viewers could make the comparison – and yes, it does bear a striking resemblance to the killer disease. As ever, cue social media backlash.
“The #grandtour guys named their test track the “Eboladrome”. Jesus” whinged one viewer, while another said: “Was proper enjoying the Grand Tour… Then it gets to the part with the new track and call it the eboladrome… I mean f****** really???”
Other critics wondered whether the idea would’ve even got off the ground back on the ex-Top Gear gang’s old channel. “Not sure how that would have gone over on the Beeb” wondered one viewer.
Even the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta – which is at the frontline of fighting ebola – has waded in, with a spokesman telling the Mail on Sunday: “It doesn’t sit well with me. It’s a very serious disease.”
Still, as ever it’s all water off a duck’s back for Clarkson, who even bragged during the show that he’ll never get fired because The Grand Tour is on the internet.
However, it turns out that Jezza still needs to be a little bit careful. Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has since stated that it DOES have the power to regulate the channel’s output, and would investigate any complaints arising from the series.