As I sit here preparing to write this rant also quite personal post, I am prepared to read indirect tweets reading ‘shut up’ or just people questioning why I have chosen to write about this particular issue for the third time. Well, like the British press, I wont stop until I air my views and people can see how I feel, in more than 140 characters.
My rant today obviously centres around the presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who after 2 weeks suspension has now been told that his BBC contract will not be renewed. For my naive readers like myself, this means that they have told him to go away. After a 2 week investigation, the BBC confirmed that Clarkson did in fact hit his producer, resulting in the victim taking himself off to A/E. The BBC felt that this was unacceptable behaviour and they cannot condemn this behaviour from anyone, not even someone so popular. Director of the BBC, Tony Hall said in his statement that it was a regrettable decision for him, as a fan of the presenter and the show. Within 2 hours, Twitter had 500,000 tweets both for and against the BBCs actions. What do I have to say about this whole Scandal.
My first thing I want to say, is, is how shocked I am with Clarkson’s actions, I am shocked more so that he hit his own team member for such a trivial matter. Over food! Some people have said that this whole incident must have been provoked in some way or another, others also say, that the BBC should have been aware of how much pressure the presenters were under and that they had a moral duty of care. This does lead me to question the support that is place for the presenters at the BBC, that a male can flip in such a short space of time.
Next who will buy Clarkson? and will they buy him? What we have to understand is, is that Jeremy has not just walked out on his own terms, he has been sacked over violence, which does mean that he might not get employed by another television house because of his violence. I would think that Netflix would be tempted into buying the format and Jeremy, because with Netflix, they can produce the entire show and then it can get streamed all at the same, when people want to watch it. It also means that Netflix will make a lot of money from the format, because we will all want to pay £5 a month to see his face and his reviews of things. Would you subscribe just to watch Top Gear?
My biggest complaint about this entire situation is, is how it has been handled. Firstly, we need to address this idea of renewing contracts. As I said above, this is telling Jezza that he is no longer wanted and is being fired. What I am really annoyed about, is the brand Top Gear but also the BBC are intending on releasing the Australia and Patagonia Special on DVD on the 30th March, with unseen footage. This is fine, it would have been fine, if Jeremy hadn’t been sacked or if the show was continuing each week. Despite sacking him, the BBC are going to still make money from him as a brand which aggravates me because it suggests to millions of viewers, that we are just paying for the BBC to not value us. I say this because we paid for Jeremy Clarkson, yes you and I both paid our license fee to get all the boys to cock about and act like idiots so why should we not have been given a say on the entire situation?
I am absolutely gutted about this era ending, because it was something that I looked forward to every year and found amusing to watch when it was on, whether new or old. However, I do think that all these things end, whether naturally so by the presenters themselves or the BBC who decide to ax it. I do think that the BBC are probably punching themselves, apologies for the irony there. But they are, they have just lost their biggest asset, he is worth £50 million, works up £67 million in sales for DVDs, magazines and general Top Gear merchandise.This means Top Gear is a real asset for anyone who decides to have it. Although Tony Hall is suggesting that Top Gear isn’t over, I think he is trying to be optimistic, because every format of the show whether in America, Australia or France the versions without Jezza do not work. Simples.
I leave you with my favorite clip of the entire 13 years of cocking about and general male banter. This comes from Series 9, episode 1. The episode in which Richard Hammond returned after his horrific accident, and the other two made his return into a sequence. This clip, I’m leaving you with, shows you the loyalty these presenters have for each other; why they cannot be split up and why they must remain as a three piece. This clip whether is featured in a News montage or just pops up on my recommended on Youtube, it always puts a lump in my throat for being simply moving for both his comeback but also for their genuine gratefulness of him returning. Whether on Netflix, YouTube, Sky or ITV or even our old friend Dave.