Like many people I am a massive fan of Top Gear. So it was with extreme sadness I read of the potential demise of this flagship factual programme for the BBC.
You may have heard the news that Tesla are suing BBC Top Gear over the way the programme portrayed the manufacturer’s electric vehicle. You may also have read today how Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson has announced his retirement from the show with immediate effect. Apparently he is unhappy that both Top Gear’s and his own journalistic integrity is being brought into question like this. A lot of people are asking whether this will mean the end of Top Gear itself. Certainly many people are asking how this iconic TV show can continue without its main star. “If they replace him they run the risk of losing much of the female audience” said one commentator.
Clarkson himself has – in his typically shy way – said little except that he doesn’t intend to continue in TV. “What other TV could I do? Hammond has grabbed the cheesy early Saturday kid stuff and James May has cornered the market on reminding us about all those toys our friends had but our parents couldn’t afford.”. Rumours abound that Clarkson is looking to join forces with the Stig and create new Rally team but so far it’s just rumours.
If – on this of all days – Jeremy Clarkson is retiring and it means the end of Top Gear I think it will be a travesty for quality journalism and British TV. Where will we get our fix of presenters using their wit and guile to combat each other in a series of ever-more-elaborate trials. The Gadget Show just isn’t the same thing.
> **Update** _2011-04-01 12:38_
Okay so in the UK we have a tradition which says that April Fools jokes must only be played before midday or the joke is on the joker. Continuing that tradition, I am declaring that this post – if you hadn’t guessed – is an April Fool. Apart from the fact that Top Gear is being sued by Tesla, all of the above is made up (including the bit about me being a “massive” Top Gear fan. I like it, just not _that_ much.)