The BBC has told Jeremy Clarkson how seriously it views “the regrettable episode” that saw him accused of using a racist word.

The Top Gear presenter was on Thursday accused of using the “n word” in an unbroadcast piece of filming for the show.

But on Thursday night in a video online he said he “loathed” the word.

Mr Clarkson, pictured, who lives near Chipping Norton, said he had deliberately tried not to use it during filming for an episode in which he was reciting “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” but it had sounded like he had afterwards.

The BBC said in a statement: “Jeremy Clarkson has set out the background to this regrettable episode.

“We have made it absolutely clear to him, the standards the BBC expects on air and off.

“We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this.”