International TV award for Top Gear
Published 10/05/2012 | 16:32
Hit BBC show Top Gear was rewarded with a major international TV prize tonight for its success around the world.
Host Jeremy Clarkson collected the Honorary Rose Award at the Rose D'Or Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, and joked: "Approximately seven million cars had to be destroyed to win this award."
The programme, which has often proved controversial for its near-the-knuckle humour, was recognised for its global appeal. It is shown in 198 territories around the world and awards organisers said it was an inspiration to creators of TV formats everywhere.
The show has often been investigated by TV watchdogs and in recent years has upset the Indian and Mexican embassies for comments and depictions in the series.
Clarkson - who fronts the show with Richard Hammond and James May - added: "This is the best job in the world and I hope I can do it forever."
Top Gear's prize crowned a strong night for British TV shows at the biennial awards event, notably for Channel 4.
The station's Black Mirror: National Anthem - a satire created by writer and broadcaster Charlie Brooker - was named best comedy at the prestigious awards. And C4's Friday Night Dinner picked up the award for best sitcom, while its Million Pound Drop Live was named best gameshow.
The BBC's Horrible Histories won the award for children's television and The Great British Bake Off was named best lifestyle show. More than 400 programmes from 40 countries competed for awards at the event.
Another notable winner was the critically panned flop Pan Am, which was cancelled amid falling audiences.
The US show which followed the lives of air stewardesses in the 1960s never really took off when it was shown on the BBC and was dropped by American network ABC. But it collected the Golden Rose award for Best Series.