Today it was announced by the BBC that Jeremy Clarkson, one of the three hosts of the insanely popular TV series Top Gear, is not going to continue with the show. They opted not to renew his contract, which was up at the end of this month, following an altercation with a producer where he first verbally abused the man for about twenty minutes, and then spent about thirty seconds punching him.
Top Gear is easily the most popular show in the world, with an estimated 850 million people watching each episode. To give that some perspective, imagine that the entire population of the United States, and their clones, and half a batch of more clones, are all watching the same show all at once. That actually still doesn’t quite get you up to the full number. You’d need another 50 million clones to accomplish that.
Dropping Clarkson from the show had to have been a tough call. There are millions of pounds at stake here, and I’m sure there were a great many sleepless nights with efforts at trying to find a way to go forward with Clarkson. But frankly, he’d had several incidents before (none physical), and at the end of the day they made the only call they could.
And it was the correct one. It’s going to be hard to have the show go forward, but frankly it’s better than taking the short-term easier way and allowing him to stay. Don’t get me wrong; I liked Clarkson a great deal on the show. The “character” he played there (the middle class Englishman who is suspicious of foreigners and the poor and wouldn’t necessarily vote vote with Britain First, but would nod in sympathy at their speeches), was fairly hilarious. But at the end of the day, he physically attacked someone at a worksite. I don’t care who you are, you should be gone once that happens.
Hopefully James May and Richard Hammond will remain on the show. Hopefully they’ll get a good third and the show will continue onward. I know there are those who doubt that could happen, but consider that the Bond films have done fine without Connery, and certainly if you’re a fan of Doctor Who you should accept this level of change. We’ll see what happens in due course, but I remain cautiously optimistic.
And on that bombshell…goodnight!