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Businesses Television The Media Transportation United Kingdom Entertainment

Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear 662

An anonymous reader writes According to BBC News, Jeremy Clarkson, longstanding main host for the automobile television show Top Gear, will not have his contract renewed. This decision came about two weeks after he was suspended due to an altercation with a Top Gear producer involving catering during filming for the show. Admittedly not the nerdiest news of the day, but it can be said that his thirteen-year run on the new format of Top Gear has interested many Slashdot users who love their cars and the entertainment that the show has brought to them.
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Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

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  • Oblig (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:02AM (#49345113)

    And on that Bomb shell...

    • Re:Oblig (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:07AM (#49345165)

      I'm confused. can somebody put this in a car analogy?

      • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Funny)

        by quenda ( 644621 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @11:24AM (#49346167)

        I'm confused. can somebody put this in a car analogy?

        Clarkson is like the end of your gear-lever. Useful, but a bit of a knob.

  • by waldozer ( 1204634 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:03AM (#49345121)
    End of show.
    • Doubtful. Top Gear has existed in some form or another for decades. I'll grant you the current incarnation is firmly anchored around Jezza, but this isn't much of a death sentence for the show.
      • by Holi ( 250190 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:24AM (#49345385)
        Considering he was talent who relaunched it in 2002 and was the primary driver of it's popularity, then yeah it's done. Look at what happened in 2001 when Jeremy left the show the first time . Viewership dropped by half and it was cancelled.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Plus the other two refused to keep filming without him, probably because they know that they can't carry the show on their own and that many fans would be pissed at them if they tried to. Besides, they do have other side shows to keep them busy or they could just retire assuming that they were wise with their earnings over the past decade.

          But yeah, without Jeremy the show will tank. He is the most important of the three hosts and without the hosts there is little reason to watch the show as it'll just becam

      • by jlv ( 5619 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:29AM (#49345473)

        Don't they just always have him regenerate and replace him with another actor?

      • by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:49AM (#49345739)

        Doubtful. Top Gear has existed in some form or another for decades. I'll grant you the current incarnation is firmly anchored around Jezza, but this isn't much of a death sentence for the show.

        Top Gear was just another boring car show until Clarkson and a different producer (Andy Wilson I think his name is) reinvented it into it's current form, without him that's what it will go back to and we don't need another fifth gear. Considering it's had a ton of spin offs in different countries and they have all died a death. Is Top Gear USA still on, and if so does it still suck? There's something about these three that make the show work so well which would be obviously lacking with three different blokes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Guspaz ( 556486 )

        The only other form it has existed in was cancelled, and the only reason the franchise survived was because they relaunched it with Clarkson. It has yet to be proven that any other form of the show could succeed in the UK without him... particularly if the three hosts end up going elsewhere to host a similar show. Many viewers could consider such a successor show to be "the real Top Gear" even if it had a different name on a different network.

    • by ayjay29 ( 144994 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @11:00AM (#49345857)

      >>End of show.

      Maybe not. Even if May and Hammond quit, they still have The Stig.

      Alright, he/she is not the most talkative presenter the BBC has, but it might just work...

      "Some say he is a talented mime artist, and can accurately describe the attitude of a BMW driver by simply raising one finger."

  • by logan3111 ( 607114 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:04AM (#49345129)
    will be watching bbc management scramble when they realize their cash cow left the building when May and Hammond, decline to renew their contracts.
    • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:18AM (#49345311) Homepage

      Are people really going to miss yet another totally fake show pretending to be reality? Is it just because this one combined cars and Daily Mail-style politics?

      Sorry, but I have no sympathy for a primadonna for whom curses at an employee for 20 minutes and then physically assaults him up for half a minute (without any resistance from his victim) before someone pulled him off, all because the Clarkson's food wasn't warm. And this is hardly the first time Clarkson has behaved like this, he was already on "final warning" after a string of other incidents. What befalls him is his own bloody fault. And all of the abuse that the victim got over this whole thing... my favorite tweet on the subject was:

      "Man assaults another man and victim receives abuse because people can’t watch a TV show about cars. Bravo society. "

      • by kuzb ( 724081 )

        I gotta agree. People don't really realize what a pompous asshat clarkson really is.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I don't really care that he is a pompous asshat. What i care about in that show is that its funny. The interactions between the three hosts are great. The fact that Clarkson is off the show means i'll no longer watch it because the chemistry between the three is what drove the show.

        • by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:44AM (#49345649)

          I guess that's what made the show work, but physical assault is crossing a line.

        • by ibpooks ( 127372 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:45AM (#49345669) Homepage

          No, people do realize what a "pompous asshat" Jeremy Clarkson is, and they either don't care given how good he is at what he does, or they admire those traits. Large segments of society are not on board with the PC, wimpy, constantly-whining-about-bullying-and-____ism that is pervasive in media, especially an institution like BBC. Clarkson is a figure who pushes back at that trend, and many see him as a hero (now perhaps a martyr) for it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by eepok ( 545733 )

            Very much this. Most Americans don't understand just how restricted speech is in the UK by comparison to the US. The US has concerns about the PC culture, but the UK rides the PC horse like it's running from a posse. The mere mention of someone being offended or people sending in letters to complain require a company or station to react and make prostrating apologies.

            The US has shock jocks, audacity humor-- look at what passes for news at Fox News!

            Of course, physically assaulting one of your staff is inexcu

            • by Ralph Wiggam ( 22354 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @11:32AM (#49346287) Homepage

              Punching people is not protected speech in the US.

      • by quax ( 19371 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:34AM (#49345547)

        Have you ever watched it? It's like Monty Python with adult sized hot wheels.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by johnnys ( 592333 )

        So his mother just died and he was going through a nasty divorce. His soon-to-be-ex wife is also his manager, so both his professional and personal lives are completely miserable. He was working long hours and he had just spent two hours in a pub where he had been drinking heavily.

        None of that excuses a physical attack, but the BBC should have stepped in and provided him with a chance to see a therapist and get some help, then make the appropriate apologies and restitution. Sometimes "zero tolerance" abso

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26, 2015 @11:01AM (#49345869)

          If I show up to work drunk and beat on someone, I would expect to get fired.

      • by eepok ( 545733 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:57AM (#49345821) Homepage

        That's what stars do. They're spoiled brats. It's not good, it's not right, but it's certainly normal. People ride the star's gravy train and are, usually, willing to put up with it. See Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men or Christian Bale absolutely losing it while filming Terminator (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0auwpvAU2YA). Hell, I went with some friends to watch a taping of the show "Friends" over a decade ago and we were there from 10am to 9pm, watching very, very little of the show being taped because Jennifer Anniston was "having a bad day" and didn't want to come out. We weren't allowed to leave our seats to get food unless we were leaving permanently. That day sucked.

        Moreover, it wasn't that "his food wasn't warm". It's that there was no regular dinner. They had finished filming at 10 or 11pm and the hotel cook staff had already gone home. All that was left was a cheese/meat plate. Clarkson was already drunk, so his inner asshole was more pronounced than normal. That's obviously no excuse, rationale, or justification, but it's a more correct appraisal of what actually led to whatever happened.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by alvinrod ( 889928 )

        And this is hardly the first time Clarkson has behaved like this, he was already on "final warning" after a string of other incidents.

        He probably should have molested a bunch of kids instead. [wikipedia.org] Then the BBC would have kept the entire incident covered up.

      • by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday March 26, 2015 @12:06PM (#49346743) Journal

        Are people really going to miss yet another totally fake show pretending to be reality? Is it just because this one combined cars and Daily Mail-style politics?

        It's worth understanding that Top Gear hasn't pretended to be reality for quite some time. They deadpan a lot, but it's all pretty clearly acknowledged to be a live-action cartoon. I read a very good article that talked some about this recently, 'Top Gear' broke my heart (and it wasn't Jeremy Clarkson's fault) [businessinsider.com]:

        As an auto journalist, I'm used to Clarkson's antics. He's a classic buffoon, and the genius of "Top Gear" is that Clarkson and his co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond, realized long ago that transforming themselves into cartoon characters would be both incredibly lucrative and lavishly entertaining. The show has been on forever, and while it's always presenting new cars and ever-more-outlandish spectacles to its legions of avid viewers, the basic shtick has become reliably changeless: three weird looking English dudes doing goofy things with rides both exotic and mundane.

        He also talks about some of Top Gear's strengths and weaknesses -- definitely worth the read if you're a fan of the show, or just want to know a bit more about why so many people seem to love a show about cars.

        Sorry, but I have no sympathy for a primadonna for whom curses at an employee for 20 minutes and then physically assaults him up for half a minute

        There's no excuse for this, but as others have said there's a bit more to it. Clarkson may or may not be a primadonna (vs just being a knob, as May referred to him several times), but given the stress he was under and the alcohol, him blowing his top over something small isn't a huge surprise. He certainly deserved to be disciplined, but I'm not sure sacking him outright was the best decision. One thing I am certain of is that the BBC will come to regret it.

      • Are people really going to miss yet another totally fake show pretending to be reality?

        this one, yes.

    • by Racemaniac ( 1099281 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:20AM (#49345333)

      I love it how when a big company for once doesn't choose for the money but actually takes a stance against a star misbehaving, and then everybody is like "sucks being them, they'll lose a lot of money over this".

      Do we want them to be ethical, or just chasing money no matter the consequences? Either of both appear to be the wrong thing to do it seems.

    • I'll be watching the politicians that spend so much time trying to shut down the BBC's funding scramble to explain why sacking a bigoted thug who went too far was wrong, without looking like a bumbling bunch of Clarksons.

      They'll fail of course because they are a bumbling bunch of Clarksons.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Sure. But the man verbally abused and bullied a subordinate. Then he physically assaulted him -- or perhaps by that point the physical altercation was mutual.

      At some point you have to ask yourself whether you have your priorities straight. As a fan of the show I'm sorry to the big ape gone. As a fan of civilized behavior I'm happy to see at least a minimum standard of decency in behavior getting enforced.

  • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:06AM (#49345159)

    He is Boorish and bigoted against American vehicles.

    Richard Hammond could carry that show all by himself. James May would be a perk.

    • Re:Boorish (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:15AM (#49345255)

      Nobody outside the US likes American vehicles. They would have been state-of-the-art in the rest of the world circa 1975.

      • by Jaime2 ( 824950 )
        Hammond likes American cars - and he likes them for what they are, not just when they pretend to be European cars. He even gave the Dodge Challenger a good review for being a fun to drive muscle car, even though it's not a very good car from a statistics perspective.
    • Re:Boorish (Score:5, Informative)

      by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:16AM (#49345283)

      Actually, there are quite a few american cars that he has out and out loved on the show - he refused to get out of the Ford GT when he ran it dry (supposedly) on the track, and then bought one. He drove the Lexus LFA across Nevada and loved it. He drove the Shelby Mustang GT5000 across Europe and loved it. He drove the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor across British Columbia and loved it.

      Those are just a few examples from the most recent few series.

      Clarkson is positive about cars he finds he likes, and he is negative about cars he finds he dislikes. Plenty of both of those in the world - see how much he hates Peugeot if you think its a "hate on America" thing...

      • Actually, there are quite a few american cars that he has out and out loved on the show... He drove the Lexus LFA across Nevada and loved it.

        In what way is the Lexus LFA an American car? It's made by a Japanese company, designed by Japanese engineers and manufactured in Japan.

      • by kuzb ( 724081 )

        This is true. He's largely down on BMW as well, but when he got to the 2005 M3 he couldn't stop singing the praises.

        All that said, the guy is still a pompous asshat that did deserve to be fired.

      • Actually, there are quite a few american cars that he has out and out loved on the show - he refused to get out of the Ford GT when he ran it dry (supposedly) on the track, and then bought one. He drove the Lexus LFA across Nevada and loved it. He drove the Shelby Mustang GT5000 across Europe and loved it. He drove the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor across British Columbia and loved it.

        Those are just a few examples from the most recent few series.

        Clarkson is positive about cars he finds he likes, and he is negative about cars he finds he dislikes. Plenty of both of those in the world - see how much he hates Peugeot if you think its a "hate on America" thing...

        Ummm....
        The Lexus LFA is as Japanese as a car can come now-a-days. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Lexus is a Japanese brand. The LFA is built in Japan.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, Jeremy Clarkson is funny until you realise he actually means what he says.

      It's a bit like laughing at Saddam when he says "Let's go gas some civilians" assuming he has a dark sense of humour, then only to realise that, no, he actually means it.

      Jeremy Clarkson is easy to replace, there are plenty of celebrities in the UK that do a great job of playing the bitter miserable old Englishman without actually being a bitter miserable old Englishman for real.

      Honestly, a lot of people moaning they wont watch T

      • by Holi ( 250190 )
        The last time Clarkson left Top Gear it was cancelled. So while you may be right, history is not on your side.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Agreed, the show will be much better without him. He hates EVs too, so they never get to review any of those. No Tesla Model S.

      They could carry on with just two presenters, or get someone like Alan Partridge in to replace him. The most interesting features are always the May and Hammond ones anyway.

    • by Holi ( 250190 )
      Jeremy has been the driving force behind Top Gear since he first joined the show in 1988. The last time he lef the show was cancelled due to losing half it's viewers. If you think Hammond could carry the show or That May could, then why haven't they been able to keep their own shows on the air.
    • He is Boorish and bigoted against American vehicles.

      Richard Hammond could carry that show all by himself. James May would be a perk.

      Have you even watched Richard Hammonds stand-alone shows? I love what he does on Top Gear, but not on his own.

    • He is Boorish and bigoted against American vehicles.

      Well, to be objective here (though you might disagree) ... every time I get an American car as a rental I'm forced to conclude the people who design American cars are idiots.

      From the ergonomics of the seating position, to the layout of the controls, to the steering and suspension I find myself thinking "why can't these people buy a Toyota or a Honda and find out how to do this properly".

      I had a Dodge Avenger as a rental a few years back, and it was a terri

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Fact is BBC are getting dragged over the coals for letting all kinds of behavior from past stars go unchecked in order to keep the money flowing, including pedophiles. While I love Top Gear and will be sad to see its demise apparently he put the producer in hospital. Even if that is not true what is not in dispute is that he physically assaulted another person and some lines cannot be crossed no matter who you are or what you bring in. My anger in this case is not with the BBC, but with Clarkson himself.

  • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:19AM (#49345315)

    The BBC is a public broadcaster, funded and owned by mandatory license fees in the UK.Clarkson was on contract to the BBC. Once the organization confirmed that unprovoked verbal and physical abuse had occurred, they had to take action or leave the corporation open to an indefensible lawsuit from the victim. They can't exactly say, "Yeah, get stuffed. We have extensive policies promoting equality and prohibiting harassment and violence in the workplace, but we're ignoring them because the presenter is popular and profitable."

    No doubt Clarkson and pals will make a profitable jump to Netflix or Sky to make a similar motoring comedy show. Meanwhile, the BBC has a chance to reinvent Top Gear with younger presenters and a reinvigorated format (there are only so many new Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Aston Martins that can be driven around a track in a cloud of smoke every week and only so many routes for contrived road trips through war zones in ancient sports cars).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dj245 ( 732906 )

      The BBC is a public broadcaster, funded and owned by mandatory license fees in the UK.Clarkson was on contract to the BBC. Once the organization confirmed that unprovoked verbal and physical abuse had occurred, they had to take action or leave the corporation open to an indefensible lawsuit from the victim. They can't exactly say, "Yeah, get stuffed. We have extensive policies promoting equality and prohibiting harassment and violence in the workplace, but we're ignoring them because the presenter is popular and profitable."

      No doubt Clarkson and pals will make a profitable jump to Netflix or Sky to make a similar motoring comedy show. Meanwhile, the BBC has a chance to reinvent Top Gear with younger presenters and a reinvigorated format (there are only so many new Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Aston Martins that can be driven around a track in a cloud of smoke every week and only so many routes for contrived road trips through war zones in ancient sports cars).

      If I wanted to see everyday cars that real people drive, I would go to a car dealership. Top Gear is the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous [wikipedia.org] of cars. I will never buy a Lambo but that doesn't mean that watching them isn't fun.

    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:33AM (#49345533) Homepage Journal

      Meanwhile, the BBC has a chance to reinvent Top Gear with younger presenters and a reinvigorated format (there are only so many new Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Aston Martins that can be driven around a track in a cloud of smoke every week and only so many routes for contrived road trips through war zones in ancient sports cars).

      Have you ever watched any of the spin-off Top Gears, like Top Gear US or Top Gear Australia? They've already tried to "reinvent" the show, multiple times. It's yet to work.

      The simple fact of the matter is that Jeremy Clarkson is the reason people watch Top Gear. Without Clarkson, there's no reason to watch.

      And I agree, the BBC really has no choice, and the blame should be placed on Clarkson for being an idiot. But that doesn't change the fact that losing Clarkson will kill Top Gear. He made the show what it is.

    • by monkeyxpress ( 4016725 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:45AM (#49345683)

      Additionally, one advantage of being a BBC show is that he didn't have any advertisers to offend.

      The most valuable advertisers for a motoring show are always going to be car/automotive companies, and trying to convince them to keep feeding you money is not particularly compatible with slagging off their products, particularly in jest.

      I think he probably took for granted the freedom the BBC actually gave him to speak his mind (about cars). It may turn out that the PC brigade were much more understanding than the world of advertising driven commercial TV. You only have to look at the way the Telegraph shutdown debate about HSBC's (one of their big advertisers) Swiss tax evasion scheme to see what eventually wins out.

      • by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

        Hell, just look at the US version of Top Gear which is on a commercial channel (the History Channel because they ran out of WWII video to show and moved on to "reality" programming). The US version just does stunts. They don't do power laps, they don't do the star in a reasonably priced car, they don't do car reviews, they don't do any car news. (They actually did do the power lap times and the star in a reasonably priced car briefly during the first season, but they've since dropped those segments entirely

  • by TigerPlish ( 174064 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:26AM (#49345433)

    I'll miss the show as it exists now, and not just because of the cars and the trips and the stunts - I'll miss it because Top Gear UK isn't afraid to call a manufacturer out on a bad car. That's something the US version can't, and won't do -- because in the US, you don't badmouth the very people who give you money in exchange for advertising on your show / magazine.

    It was good while it lasted, and it's remarkable it lasted this long.

  • Bummer! (Score:2, Funny)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) *

    Are they hiring a new racist then?

  • by mtrachtenberg ( 67780 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:50AM (#49345753) Homepage

    The correct headline would be "Millionaire Celebrity Thug and Bigot Finally Dismissed by BBC."

    The correct subhead would be "Assault on staff last straw, after insults to Mexico and use of n-word insufficient to force BBC executives to punish their cash cow."

  • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @10:51AM (#49345765)

    Probably laughing about this.

  • Bullying (Score:5, Informative)

    by Andy Smith ( 55346 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @11:31AM (#49346283)

    Anyone who has been bullied at work must be sickened by the public support for Jeremy Clarkson. Even in sacking him for the physical assault on Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, BBC director general Tony Hall seemed almost apologetic, taking the opportunity to thank Clarkson for his work on Top Gear and wishing him the best for the future.

    But if you've experienced bullying first hand then you know what a destructive force the Clarksons of the world are. Your workplace becomes a place of dread and fear. The stress becomes not just a part of your daily life, but a part of who you are as a person. It changes you.

    My own experience of being bullied began when I took a job with a company that had just promoted a long-standing employee in to a management position. He had no experience of managing people, he received no training, and he openly said that he didn't want the job. He was visibly stressed almost constantly, and resented that he was still expected to work and not just manage other people's work.

    Very early in the job I was shouted at in the middle of a busy office for completing a task that should have been cancelled. It was a foul-mouthed and very personal tirade of abuse, accusing me of being untrustworthy, and came totally out of the blue. Then my manager realised that he had forgotten to mark the task as cancelled, and quietly in a private room away from other staff, he apologised and promised never to speak to me like that in front of people again.

    The details of bullying incidents are generally repetitive and boring, so suffice to say, this was just the beginning of what became regular abuse: Shouted at in the middle of the office for things I had allegedly done wrong, and then apologised to in private.

    I put up with the abuse for way too long. I'd spoken to my union rep and kept a bullying diary as advised, but I never started a grievance procedure. Colleagues said I should, and one day I ended up talking to the company secretary about it, but I backed off, determined to resolve the issue myself. Ultimately, I told myself, this is a case of two grown men having a clash of personalities, and I should be able to resolve it. But of course I couldn't.

    After about a year I had to take time off work for an unconnected health reason, which seemed to go on a lot longer than one might expect. After a week back at work, I was off again with flu, which seemed to go on forever. My doctor was puzzled and I was sent to the hospital for tests. But in conversation with my doctor one time I mentioned about how it was actually quite nice to be off work because it was an escape from the bullying, and it was as if I'd said the magic word. My doctor was certain that the stress of being bullied was the root cause of my poor health. It explained everything. It turns out that a year of sleepless nights and constant anxiety isn't very good for you.

    The BBC has done the right thing in sacking Clarkson. When I finally had to take formal action against my manager, the company was combative, and handled it on the basis that I was making it all up. I opted for the least "official" form of grievance, third-party arbitration, and my manager held his hands up to what he'd been doing and promised to change. Whether he could or not, I don't know, as I've not been well enough to return to work yet.

    I've watched every episode of Top Gear since Clarkson joined the programme. I like him as a presenter. But I see him now for what he really is: A person who knows how to present himself to the people who control his career -- his bosses and the viewers -- but feels he can abuse the people below him. No doubt he will now be snapped up by another TV channel, or Netflix, and he'll continue to make great programmes that entertain millions. But we know now what he's like behind the scenes, and even a bully that knows he's a bully will still be a bully.

  • Some say... (Score:5, Funny)

    by WolfWithoutAClause ( 162946 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @12:38PM (#49347129) Homepage

    Some say he punched an innocent person in the mouth-

    others say he's the cash cow of the BBC-

    But we just know him as... unemployed.

  • by RandCraw ( 1047302 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @01:10PM (#49347587)

    The best outcome for everyone (but the BBC) is for all three hosts to go to another network and set up shop there. Call the new show anyhthing you like. The magic of Top Gear lies in the hosts, not the network. And Lord Knows, not the BBC.

    Top Gear is the most popular TV show in history, with over 350 million viewers worldwide. There is no way in hell the show will fade away. Or the cast. There is no way Clarkson can be replaced, successfully. Fair or not, many viewers would see May and Hammond as traitors. The two will quickly realize they would be insane to stay, especially given their other (much more lucrative) options. So they will go too, probably to rejoin Clarkson at a network of their choosing, where they have *much* better support and artistic freedom. And hot food.

    Clarkson was paid a measly $1.5M/year by the BBC. He can make more money per *episode* at a real network. It's plain from his recent shenanigans that Clarkson has been eager to rewrite his contract with the BBC for some time now. The only question is how soon Hammond and May follow Clarkson's example and head for greener pastures.

    Bet on it.

  • by CptJeanLuc ( 1889586 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @01:35PM (#49347833)

    I hate how the media is spinning this, that because 1 million people or whatever want someone back in a TV show, a TV star should somehow be above the set of laws and expected normal social behavior that the rest of us have to deal with. When someone starts hitting co-workers over the lack of warm food, they should get severely reprimanded - why is this even a discussion. The answer is of course because - and I will put this in tabloid terms because that is the only thing that seems to get across these days - of the way media works this day, how everyone now has a voice through the Internet, and the few voices of common sense gets drowned by moronic opinions of idiots. Why should you care about the opinion of a labour law expert when for each such expert ten thousand average Joe's and Jane's have touchy feely opinions that tell them something different.

    The behavior in question seems to be some type of inflated ego syndrome, that people get so full of their own success that they feel petty stuff like following rules and being civil to one another is beneath them, that such things apply only to other people (which by the way includes their fan base). It is always sad to see how someone sympathetic get famous, then are starstruck by themselves, and shortly after enter a downward spiral and discover their dark side.

    It is even sadder to watch the fan base. If the average fan turned away from this type of behavior and actually stopped watching a show for a period if the host has done something particularly offensive, that would send a clear message. Instead the shows probably get higher ratings because of the extra attention.

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