Top Gear should finish with the departure of Clarkson

There have been some rather amusing columns written over the last few weeks that the departure of Jeremy Clarkson somehow paves the way for a ‘kinder, gentler’ (read more PC) Top Gear.   More reviews on affordable cars; more eco friendly; no off colour comments.    What a lot of rubbish.   Nobody wants to watch a programme like that.    How many teenage boys have a poster of a Toyota Camry about their bed?   Or a Prius?   Who even aspires to drive a car like that?   Sure they are sold in large numbers, but that is because they are practical and serve a purpose, not because as a vehicle they aspire any sort of passion.    The open road in a Ferrari has far more allure than 6:30am sitting in bumper to bumper traffic in a drab Camry sipping a cold coffee.

Top gear was a great programme in its heyday.   Its best was probably behind it, but it still amused and entertained millions of viewers every week.     The last thing the BBC should do is try to re-create it with a non-offensive Clarkson (Top Gear Australia tried that, and it was shocking) or turn it into the PC programme leftish commentators have always wanted it to be.    A new car programme, that takes the format in a new direction, just like Clarkson and Wilman did back in 2002 would be a far better idea.

For me, the highlights of Top Gear would be:

  • The cheap car challenges, in particular the Italian Supercars
  • The extended international road trips, in particular The Amazon, Botswana and Vietnam
  • When they took on a challenge – the Britcar race, building “Geoff”, Stretch limos etc.
  • Over the years they occasionally slipped in a great segment about a particular car or manufacturer – such as the one on Lancia, or the Citroen DS.

I always found the star in a reasonably priced car segment boring and mostly skipped passed that one.  The cool wall was also rather tedious. In later years the show got a bit too much of a caricature of itself, but still managed to slip in some great segments from time to time.     It was one of the few TV shows I regularly watched, hopefully something new, interesting and different would take its place.

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