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Jeremy Clarkson...you dolt. You bleeping moron.


When the news spread, like wildfire, about the 'fracas' (why does that have to be in quotes, by the way? Everyone is doing that now.), I was amazed at the multitude of people who instantly came to Jezza's defense, regardless of any potential accusations or even rumors. After all, who cares if he supposedly assaulted another person...we want him back on tv!




The people around me couldn't care less about the accusations. Realistically, it was only myself, Mr. OfLove*, and 2 other friends who were sounding the call to caution. Everyone else--people who are educated, reasonable people who aren't normally prone to violence--was outraged. "Don't take away our show!" "Jeremy is innocent!" "It didn't happen!" "Jezza was provoked!" "He's the heart and soul of the program...you can't do this to us!"




Within days we heard a bunch of the supposed facts, which all turned out to be true. Jezza threw a temper tantrum, launching a verbal spew that rivaled that of a two-year old, although with considerably more cussing. There were fisticuffs. Once I heard just this part, I couldn't support Jeremy Clarkson, sign a petition to have him reinstated, or even publicly come to his aid. There were more details to come, and somehow I knew it wasn't pretty.


It's been interesting to watch Richard Hammond and, especially, James May on their Twitter feeds. James' #StillUnemployed (or sometimes truncated to #SU) has risen in me some doubts. As to whether they continue on the show, or they pull out in support of their colleague, I think no one knows right now. Their contracts are up this year, too; BBC may want to take things in a whole other direction. If they appear alongside a new co-host, it will remind people of the shoes to fill. Say what you will about his behavior off the track, but in front of the camera and in road testing cars, Jeremy Clarkson made it interesting and compelling. Even non-gearheads watched the show. It was fun to watch him get a rise out of his colleagues, say something irreverant and even mildly suggestive...all in the name of entertainment. I'm fine with how he pushed the envelope overall for Top Gear. It will take another large personality to fill his shoes. Maybe Chris Evans...but maybe not even him.


But, dude, seriously. Be thankful that BBC was your employer. If it were NBC, ABC, CBS or Fox, you would have been fired on the spot. Or you would have had to reinact it on tv, complete with another round in the ring with the victim. Or a similar-looking actor. Maybe with a whole bunch of sponsors.



*Thanks, GoC, for the spouse-naming convention. I love this!


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The problem with the BBC as is popularly known in Britain is that it's irredeemabl;y politically correct. It doesn't like car driving, doesn't like Clarkson, and doesn't like the public deciding for itself what is responsible television viewing, or at least in general. As to the specifics of the 'fracas' I can't say - I wasn't there - but one gets the impression that certain people were tired of Clarkson and only to glad to remove him one way or another.


The Beeb say Top Gear will be back in a revised format in 2016. It won't be any better than the other Top Gear programs shown in America, Australia, Germany, or where-ever, and might even prove to be somewhat worse. We shall see. At any rate I'm not interested in a program discussing car safety, green issues, lorries that can save the whale, or fun packed city electric mobility buggies that drive available in pink and other inducements toward liberal social groups.


But then I'm the same generation as Clarkson and to be honest, I do share many of his sensibilities.

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I think they'll replace the whole bunch of 'em.  The show was getting a bit tired, anyway, and it'd be nice to see some different ways of doing it.  I'd like to see some folk from totally left field.  Chris Evans is an obvious choice, but everyone knows him.  What kind of job would (for example) Frankie Boyle do?  The bleep machine would be red hot as he battled his Morris Minor through dense, sub-Saharan undergrowth (maybe chased by Dara Ó Briain in Del-Boy's Reliant Robin, and Katie Hopkins in a VW Camper).  A woman on Top Gear?  I know!  I'll go and wash my mouth out with soap.  In fairness, though, she IS massively racist.

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You're both right, that there will be big changes, regardless of who the presenters are. But, please, let's hope for the love of all that's ratings, that they don't make it like the US version. Holy cripes, it's the worst piece of poop ever. Completely uninteresting. They started off with the wrong presenters--one comedian who isn't that funny and who really is an average driver at best, one car journalist who has no personality, and one rally driver who has no charisma. From there, they started off with a show all about taking the japes that the UK boys would do, but yet foul them up...kinda like American television routinely does with any British show. That didn't work, so after a couple of seasons they revamped the program, and now it's all about hot rodding and people who customize cars...because we don't already have 10 programs like that, all of which have very likeable hosts. Most all of which get better ratings than TGUS, too.


I mean, I watched TGUK because it was funny and irreverant, yes. But I also watched because of the reviews...to dream that one day, I might have the chance to drive one of those fancy cars, to think about the things I could do to my car (ok, that Mr. ofLove could do to my car) to make it more zippy, etc. Will I ever drive a Ferrari La Ferrari? Prolly not. What about a DB10, whenever it comes out? Alas, prolly not. But oh to dream....

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