Top Gear: Spinning its Wheels.

I’m not a huge fan of Top Gear but it’s usually a harmlessly entertaining way of passing an hour on a Sunday. Yesterday I caught three quarters of the show. This part started with Jeremy Clarkson kissing Ryan Reynolds’ ass for ten minutes. Any fifteen year old girl in a Clarkson mask – I’m sure they’ve got them in Tesco – could have easily achieved his gushiness and probably swopped as much metaphorical spit, though she would never have embarrassed Dear Old Ryan (best looking man in the world or some such in 2010 as Jeremy kept reminding us or ryan or himself, it was difficult to tell which) to the same extent – I hope he was embarrassed – I was embarrassed for him, watching .

If that bit was an absolute abrogation of every journalistic ethic Darling Jeremy ever pretended to, the next segment effortlessly topped it. The plot, for there was not a shred of truth in the entire segment, revolved around the filming of a car chase for a new Sweeney movie (spinnning off from the seventies TV show starring John Thaw and Denis Waterman – before he was a prat, guv) by the estimable Sir Jeremy and that lovable moppet ( spelt correctly, luvvie) Richard Hammond. It was simply an excuse for total self indul;gence by Clarkson and poor old Hammond got dragged along for the ride (perhaps they’ll star on the new One Man and his Dog for BBC2) because he hadn’t enough sense to excuse himself and it seems no-one had the guts to voice the unavoidable opinion that the marvellous and electrifying Sir Jeremy had actually lost the plot. My respect for the absent James May rose with every minute he remained off screen. This low comedy sketch had no place on a show that is ostensibly about motoring and motor cars. This was Abbott and Costellowithout the wit and the razor sharp scripts, Morecambe and Wise without the wig and glasses, and Ball without the Earthy charm; it was indeed darling Jeremy channeling the cuddly and lovable spirit of that universally admired and respected jewel of British comedy Bernard Manning.

He has lost the ***king plot, big time. I hope someone in the BBC realises how far the programme has fallen. Last night it was unconvincing, silly and boring. Please, make it more about cars and less about Clarkson. A lot less about Clarkson.

Maybe the BBC could give him his own show – on CCTV. He is, after all, his own target audience.


About Bob Neilson

Bob Neilson lives in Dublin with his wife, two daughters, son, two dogs, one cat and a growing feeling of claustrophobia. In partnership with his wife he runs a successful retail business in Dublin city. His short fiction has appeared extensively in professional and small press markets and he has had two plays performed on RTE and one on Anna Livia FM. He also presented a radio show on Anna Livia for a year. He has had two short story collections published, Without Honour (1997, Aeon Press) and That’s Entertainment (2007, Elastic Press) as well as several comics and a graphic novel. His non-fiction book on the properties of crystals is a best-seller in the UK and Ireland.
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