Clarkson: He's a knob but we quite like him
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past fortnight you will have missed the story that has been filling up the newspapers and twitter feeds of the UK population. Famine? I hear you cry. War? You may shout. No ladies and gentleman, the major newsflash I speak of is of course Jeremy Clarkson’s somewhat predictable suspension from the BBC.
The drama all kicked off over a steak or, the lack of one, in fact. The incident, which has been dubbed a ‘fracas’, began when Clarkson returned to Simonstone Hall Hotel in the Yorkshire Dales after what was clearly a long and tiresome day of filming. According to reports, the presenter requested a steak for dinner only to have his hopes dashed as he was instead told that soup and a cold meat platter had been arranged. Apparently the complete lack of disregard for the host’s rumbly tummy enraged the broadcast favourite who lashed out both physically and verbally at producer Oisin Tymon. What followed was a 40-minute scuffle between presenter and producer that left the latter bloodied and requiring medical attention.
That classic saying seems to come to mind, ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’. It is indisputable that Clarkson is incredibly good at what he does; he has reached the pinnacle of his career and has effectively produced one of the most profitable programs in BBC history. However, this is not the first time Clarkson has managed to put his mighty foot in it; in fact it is happening more often that not these days. It’s hard to think back to a time when the host WASN’T being drawn into some kind of hullabaloo. He is already on his final warning after accusations of racism on the show. But despite this there is still a major demand for the presenter and the public continue to love him, evident from the 800,000+ signatures a petition to reinstate him has already gained. But does this unfounded popularity give him or anyone an excuse to get away with whatever they bloody well want?
Surely no matter who you are or what you do it is not acceptable to punch someone just because you don’t get your way? Can you imagine if we all kicked off in Clarkson-esq style? The entire country would go to pot! And it seems this may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Despite his many indiscretions, the BBC has never before taken disciplinary proceedings so far with Clarkson. However the host seems none too bothered by this. When approached the other day, while drinking at a London pub, he was quoted as saying: “I’m having a nice cold pint and waiting for this to blow over.” Perhaps it’s his lack of sincerity, but it seems the patience of big bosses at the BBC is beginning to wear thin. The ice Clarkson is skating on is growing unprecedentedly thin – there’s only so much it can take before the titan comes crashing back down to reality.
As the investigation continues, the last few episodes of the series have been ‘postponed’. Last Sunday the program was substituted by a repeat of Red Arrows: Inside the Bubble, which managed to pull in just 1.3 million viewers, a far cry from the typical Top Gear audience of about 5 million. So I guess the question we must ask ourselves is can Top Gear survive without the beast that is Clarkson and can the BBC afford to loose him? In my opinion, no. The self-prescribed dinosaur has become a staple of Top Gear, to do away with him would be suicide for the entire show. Yes, many tune in because they are interested in cars but there is a totally different audience who watch simply because they find the current presenting line up tremendously entertaining. Taking out a crucial piece of that puzzle will surely disrupt the whole set up? Perhaps instead of a sacking we should suggest a beefed up swear jar where every wrongdoing amounts to a £10,000 deduction in wages. I’m sure the threat of losing money would have the television personality biting his nails.
Oh and in case you were wondering, after throwing his toys out of the pram, Clarkson was eventually cooked a steak by the hotel manager, which I’m sure put a smug little smirk on his rather gigantic head.
And on that bombshell….