Category Archive 'Top Gear'

28 Mar 2015

More on the Clarkson Firing

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James May and Richard Hammond are going wherever Clarkson goes. Daily Mail

James Delingpole argues that “the wankerati” at the BBC shot themselves in the foot by firing Clarkson.

[T]ill Clarkson’s nemesis BBC Controller of TV Danny Cohen came along, the BBC appears instinctively to have understood his value. Not his commercial value (the BBC likes to think it’s above such vulgarities) but rather his propaganda value. Top Gear was the BBC’s equivalent of a Potemkin Village or – a bit of Clarksonesque bad taste here, why not? – those films the Nazis used to make of jolly, well-fed Jews playing in orchestras and sitting in cafes near their delightful new living quarters in the Warsaw Ghetto. Any time unhelpful people started banging on about the BBC’s entrenched left-wing bias and maddening political correctness, all the Beeb had to do was point at the self-evidently notleft-wing and not PC Top Gear as proof of the contrary.

Till the BBC sacked Clarkson, my view was that they were going to get away this game for many years hence. But now I am not so sure.

Over a million people signed that petition urging the BBC to reinstate Clarkson. A fair proportion of them, I suspect, will belong to precisely that demographic the BBC finds most embarrassing: white, obviously; probably Thatcherite in outlook, but quite fond of Nigel Farage; highly sceptical of “global warming”; petrolheads, again obviously; not averse to telling the odd racist joke when they’re with their mates, not so much because they have anything against “coloured” people (as they probably call them, not knowing the correct term) but more as a reaction against political correctness; might not have gone to “uni” because they could tell it was a complete waste of time. People who – at least in the BBC’s Weltanschauung – are pretty much beyond the pale.

Unfortunately for the BBC, however, these disgusting, frightful people, very few of whom live anywhere civilised like North London or have ever knowingly eaten cavolo nero, represent a much larger percentage of the population than any of the worthy groups it would prefer to cater to (the “Asian” community; gay people; disabled people; Roma; environmentalists; activists; etc). While Top Gear was on – the modern equivalent of “bread and circuses” – this mob were kept at bay. But with Top Gear gone, they may incline to feel that they have been cheated – like a serially abused child whose one and only toy has finally snatched away from him by his prissy, unloving, perma-stubbled, tofu-eating stepfather.

In short, for many years the BBC has been living a lie. It has pretended – as its Charter requires of it – that it’s for everyone when really it has continually and ruthlessly shut out any presenters, programmes or opinions which don’t fit into its narrow, metropolitan, left-liberal narrative. And what the Clarkson sacking has done is brought this issue to a head. Also – a bit like Gamergate did for gamers – it has woken large numbers of people who hadn’t hitherto thought of themselves as particularly political into an appreciation of how badly they’ve been conned and abused by a narrow, self-selecting and very political elite who despise them.

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Ron Liddle, at the Spectator, agrees:

[W]hatever the rights or wrongs of this latest ‘fracas’, the BBC was uncomfortable with him. It wanted him out. It was torn a little by the fact that – again almost uniquely for a BBC star – he was genuinely popular, and popular with a section of the audience the BBC normally fails to reach – ie British people who are not PC neurotics. Yes, millions and millions and millions of people. But collectively it loathed his politics. And that is really why he has gone. And so who is left at the BBC who isn’t left?

25 Mar 2015

BBC Fires Clarkson

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Well, it’s happened. The wet ends at the BBC (who obviously think they are administrators at some American college) have declined to renew the contract of Jeremy Clarkson, the principal host of the BBC’s hit automotive program Top Gear.

Deadline.com:

The BBC’s Director General Tony Hall has confirmed Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson’s contract will not be renewed after a physical altercation with a producer. The controversial presenter was suspended on March 10, following a “fracas” with Oisin Tymon — believed to be over catering — in a Yorkshire hotel.

“It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract. It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have done so only after a very careful consideration of the facts and after personally meeting both Jeremy and Oisin Tymon,” said Hall in a statement.

Clarkson was fired because he got into a fracas with his producer on March 4th while filming in chilly Yorkshire. The Top Gear star became angry at learning that no hot meal was being provided, and socked producer Oisin Tymon in the mouth after calling him “a lazy Irish c*nt.”

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Also Deadline.com:

Following the announcement, Top Gear co-host James May, whose contract is also up at the end of the month, told reporters outside his home, “It’s a tragedy. I’m sorry that what ought to have been a small incident, sorted out easily, turned into something big… I have only known for the past few minutes and if you’ll excuse me, I very desperately have to write the eBay listing for my Ferrari.”

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Other co-host Richard Hammond tweeted:

TweetHammond

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The Stig had no comment.

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The lazy Irish c*nt with the swollen lip and his reptilian lawyer were also heard from (Yahoo News):

“I respect Lord Hall’s detailed findings and I am grateful to the BBC for their thorough and swift investigation into this very regrettable incident, against a background of intense media interest and speculation.

“I’ve worked on Top Gear for almost a decade, a programme I love.

“Over that time Jeremy and I had a positive and successful working relationship, making some landmark projects together. He is a unique talent and I am well aware that many will be sorry his involvement in the show should end in this way.”

    Statement from his lawyer Paul Daniels in full:

    “This last month has been a nightmare for Oisin, his friends and his family. Through absolutely no fault of his own he found himself at the centre of a massive news story, but despite that he has conducted himself with dignity, restraint and balance.

    “He now simply wishes to return to the job he loves at the BBC. He does not intend to make any further media comment and kindly asks that his privacy is respected.

    “More generally, this is an important reminder that UK law protects all staff who face bullying, discrimination or violence at work, and all employers are required to protect their staff from such behaviour.”

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Obviously, British television resembles the American education system more than it does Hollywood. Its top priority is preventing bullying or discrimination against the inactive, the Hibernian, and those incapable of defending themselves. In America, the talent, I expect, tends to get hot meals and lots of sucking up from the help.

Personally, I think justice would be done by having the American Fox Network dash in and sign up all three British hosts for a new, and more luxurious, version of an automotive program, combining fast car testing, humor, and political satire.

And, every couple of months, Jeremy Clarkson should punch out some deserving left-wing commentator while his audience in the millions applauds.

10 Aug 2010

Linguistic Inquiry

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Blogs can be pretty useful. I received a chance to buy a rare sporting novel (Heather Mixture by “Klaxton”) that was absolutely unobtainable through conventional sources because I once mentioned it as an example of the impossible to find book here. I also reconnected with a long-lost school friend and fishing buddy whom I hadn’t seen in decades because I anecdotally mentioned him in passing in a posting.

Recently, I’ve been finding the bill of fare on BBC America improving. They are, for instance, now broadcasting Top Gear, an over-the-top, Limey automotive program which I’ve occasionally found video excerpts of on YouTube and linked here.

Top Gear is witty and outrageous in the less inhibited fashion of a nation that successfully exported many of its Puritans centuries ago, and I’m happy to catch some of its episodes.

Last night, one of its principals, whom I do not yet recognize, probably Jeremy Clarkson, was nattering on about moving the locale to Scotland or nearby. At which point, he monologued:

Where do Geordies actually come from? Geordies are from the Northeast. Maybe they’re all Geordies. Then there’s others, Foggies, aren’t there? There’s Foggies, Muggies and monkey hangers. I don’t know what they are. Are they all types of Geordie? Well I think so. Or maybe they’re different.They all say why-aye so they must all be Geordies.

We Americans tend to suppose that a “Geordie” is a Scotsman. But, according to Wikipedia, Geordie is a more specific term for a resident of the neighborhood of Tyneside, specifically North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Tyneside and Gateshead. But it can also refer to anybody from Northeast England or to a supporter of the Newcastle United soccer team.

So who are foggies, muggies, and monkey hangers?

12 Apr 2009

Car Skeet With Jeremy Clarkson

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British TV program Top Gear‘s Jeremy Clarkson decided that clay targets were too small and too boring.

4:32 video

Hat tip to Henry Bernatonis.

11 Mar 2007

Lightning Striking Automobile

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Daredevil Richard Hammond, on British Television’s Top Gear, tests the effects of a lightning strike on an automobile and its occupant/driver.

video


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