By now I am all sure you have heard the news… The BBC have decided to let Jeremy Clarkson go and he will no longer host Top Gear. James May has said that the three presenters works “as a package” and that his continuation with the show would require “a lot of thought.” Richard Hammond has echoed this Tweeting “Gutted at such a sad end to an era.” Whilst the BBC aim to continue on with Top Gear for 2016, it would appear that it will not be with the trio who made it the global success it is today.
I have been very vocal over the past few years about how Top Gear has become an entertainment show as opposed to being about cars. I bemoaned the staged “my caravan is on fire” moments and how the program was now about three blokes despite being a factual motoring show. However, back when they first started their genuine chemistry and passion for cars is what made me want to become a motoring journalist.
Back in 2003, when the new Top Gear was introduced, I was 11 years old and knew far too much about cars for a boy of that age. I loved the way they worked, sounded, looked and how something so inanimate could get me excited. When the show started I would watch it religiously every Sunday absorbing the facts and laughing at the humour. The episode where they each bought a cheap Porsche was, in my eyes at least, Top Gear at its hight. At that point it didn’t have the huge audience that it does now, but the real on screen entertainment was unlike anything else on TV.
I used to be teased for watching Top Gear. “It’s boring car stuff” my classmates would say. Now each of them are an avid fan of the show they slated. I knew back then that if this was a “real job” I wanted to do it and nothing was going to stop me.
Wind the clock forward to 2015 and here I am. Was Top Gear the key reason I became a motoring journalist? No, but I believe it to be one of the triggers that started me on the road to getting here. Todays Top Gear is very different to what I watched as a boy, but I must commend it for getting people who otherwise couldn’t give a damn about cars interested. I think to that end every motoring journalist owes Top Gear at least a bit of gratitude.
I thank Jeremy, Richard and James for their inspiration. And on that bombshell…