British TV chef James Martin, who caused uproar with a newspaper column that said he hates cyclists and caused a group of riders to crash, has apologised on his website for any offence caused.
But the Saturday Kitchen star stopped short of apologising for the content of the piece in last weekend’s Mail On Sunday.
Martin, who says it was never his intention to offend cyclists, wrote in his review of a Tesla Roadstar electric car: “God, I hate those cyclists. Every last herbal tea-drinking, Harriet Harman-voting one of them.”
He went on to describe how, because of the silent electric motor in the car, he “stepped on the gas, waited until the split second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed”.
“The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I’ve ever seen in my rear-view mirror,” he wrote.
The UK’s national cyclists’ organisation CTC, has been bombarded with furious emails about the article. Multiple Olympic gold medal winner Bradley Wiggins tweeted about it and ProTour sprinter Robbie McEwen also waded in on the issue via his Twitter page – but has since accepted Martin’s apology.
Tesla distanced themselves from Martin’s comments, saying they would not run his review on their website as they were a cyclist-friendly company.
Martin, who holds the world record for carrot chopping, says on his website that what “was intended to be a humorous piece was clearly misjudged”.
He says: “It was never my intention to offend the many cyclists who share our roads across the country… Furthermore, I do not condone any form of reckless driving. I am sincerely sorry for any upset caused in relation to this article.”
Do you accept this apology? Let us know in the comments section below. Check out the opinion of BikeRadar’s John Stevenson in his blog.