Well, is today the judgment day as reported news arrives that J.C has been ordered to F.O. So does this come as a shock and as surprise? Well, not really in all fairness though I’m sure the case hardened Top Gear fans will argue otherwise. In a personal experience, I once had a blazing row with an employer (not over steak and chips, though) and my own refusal to accept his opinion (which was wrong for the record) caused the scenario to boil over worse than an unloved MGF. The end result was tea and biscuits – with no tea available and a distinct lack of something to dunk into it.
Like him or loath him his actions are/were a sackable offence – if Auntie was not to chastise him in any way, then that would make someone almost seem like an untouchable God. That would be an offence far more severe than anything Clarkson could achieve, would it not? I am drawn to a quote from Sir Michael Edwardes during his horn locking with British Leyland strikers, whereby he stated “managers MUST reserve the right to manage” and the BBC have done such and, on face value, they have made the right decision. Otherwise, the floodgates up and down the land would open up to those who think the best way to put a point across to their line manager is by means of a punch up the conk.
Not being remotely into conspiracy theories, but there could well have been a touch of deliberacy to all of this. Clarkson has more than once bemoaned the changing attitude and face of the BBC and, just like a wounded animal, if you poke it enough, it’s bound to lash out and bite. Don’t, for once, even think that his job as a writer and presenter is a walk in the park in springtime either. Driving sideways in a cool fast car is merely the payoff for the long hours of script rehearsals, planning, making sure the presentation is right, the weather is right, the car is right and then putting your thoughts onto the keyboard.
If you think this is easy, then mark my words… it’s not. In fact, sometimes it’s nigh on impossible when travelling along the never-ending road of perfection. Whatever your thoughts about Top Gear may be, its post-production, cinematography and the finished item are glorious to behold and, if you are still unconvinced, watch it with the sound turned down – the visual effects and camera trickery often better a blockbuster movie. Clarkson may well have simply had enough of the petty bureaucracy and tinkering of the BBC. I know a good few people who work and have worked within its ranks that can tell me a good few tales of woe and just how demoralised internal morale can be.
However, that’s no excuse for lashing out at a producer – I’m just inclined to think that the lack of a hot meal was the final straw which broke the South Yorkshireman’s back. But equally inexcusable is the press reaction to the sacking of Jeremy – only just this morning, I read with anger a piece in The Telegraph by Bill Borrows which was absolutely disgusting. Almost making mockery of his name, his background and his failed marriages, it seems that the knife was in before any official BBC statement has been made – read and judge yourself by clicking here.
But there’s nothing like kicking a man when he’s down regardless of him deserving the push. I would have expected this in the tabloids but The Telegraph? I hang my head with sorrow. Yet Jeremy seems to be far from bothered though he has stated his thanks for the public support. His money is made and his smartphone contains all the numbers of who’s who in the motoring and media circles – Top Gear may just be another chapter in his life. Few things are guaranteed in this world, but one thing is a dead certainty – he will never be short of a job or a word to say, regardless of opinion, the man is remarkably talented both as a presenter and a wordsmith – it all just grew beyond a manageable size.
So it is with reluctance when I say that it was the British Broadcasting Corporation who created the monster, and it’s down to them to slay it. Purely as a consequence of his recent action, I think the BBC were right – if this proves to be the “confirmed” outcome. But then there is the thorny issue of who will replace him or if there will be any more episodes of Top Gear. The pundits are throwing around Chris Evans as the man for the job of which I disagree firmly with. If you want a figure that annoys the public in equal measures to delighting them, they’d be better off keeping Clarkson in my opinion.
But this is just my opinion, after all, and does not necessarily reflect that of the BBC or AROnline. However, if a vacancy does pop up on Top Gear, I’d be happy to help and even throw in some hand-picked co-presenters… The Top Gear Test Track is only 7 miles up the road from my house, too – I could almost guarantee I wouldn’t be late in the mornings. I would also promise to bring back a foot-on-bumper sign off at the end of the show and offer free tea and coffee to the audience with piping hot water provided from my neighbours’ broken K-Series – if that’s not a solution, then I don’t know what is!
A star in a reasonably priced Rover 75 1.8 Club SE anyone?