Is the BBC discriminating against gay couples? As is often the case, that depends on whom you ask. How so? It seems that Top Gear, the Beeb's ridiculously popular car show, has created a rule stipulating that its audience be made up of 50 percent males and 50 percent females, and at least one gay couple was allegedly denied tickets "unless [they] took a couple of female friends."

A BBC spokesperson has responded to the kerfuffle saying, "We do not – absolutely do not – discriminate against same sex couples... the whole implication that Top Gear is in any way homophobic is completely wrong." Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights charity Stonewall, doesn't quite seem to agree: "It's very odd, but what do you expect from pigs that grunt? Regrettably, with Jeremy Clarkson involved, it's not surprising. The show itself is full of stereotyping of both men and women – but it's funded by gay and lesbian license fee cash as well as everyone else's."

The BBC adds that it doesn't even handle the actual ticketing for the show. A company called Applause Store issues the tickets in quantities of two. Says the spokesperson, "We don't ask people to apply as a couple, we ask them to apply as people."

[Source: AOL TV UK]
Note: AOL owns both AOL TV and Autoblog, but the two share no editorial affiliation.

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