Illustration for article titled Jeremy Clarkson Once Asked Nelson Mandela If Hed Ever Had A Lap Dance

Oh, Jezza, Jezza, Jezza. I think I see what you were trying to do there. Mix it up a bit, keep things interesting, and you know what, I bet you did. Still, it may not have been such a hot idea to ask Mandela if he's ever had a lap dance, as Mandela's former PA claims Clarkson did when the two met in 2010.


The story comes from Zelda La Grange's new biography, where she recounts her life working with the South African leader. The meeting with Clarkson happened in 2010 when Top Gear was shooting their South African special.


Here's how La Grange recounts the meeting in an interview with a radio station to promote the book:

"He walked into Madiba's office and the first thing he asks him - really how inappropriate can you be? – is: 'Have you ever had a lap dance?'

"I immediately got to my boiling point – it was sizzling out of my ears, that's how angry I was. I told Madiba: "You don't have to answer that."

A bit later, Mandela was reminded that he met with Neil Armstrong the day before, and used that as a chance to get a little joke in of his own, asking Clarkson if he'd ever been to the moon.

Honestly, it sounds like Mandela must have had a decent sense of humor about the whole thing. Clarkson recounted the event in a later column, and La Grange alleges he "twisted" the incident so it seemed like Mandela mistook him for Armstrong.


Besides, just to defend Clarkson a bit, maybe he thought a nice chat about the simple joys of lap dances would be just the thing to bond with the influential world leader? It's intimidating to meet statesmen like that, and maybe he felt it was a common experience they could both relate to. I mean, it's a lap dance, right? What could be more universal?

Regardless, someone else is now pissed at Clarkson for something he said, which really just means that the world is still going along just like it always does.


At least this time it wasn't racist , right? That's something.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter