Friday, 17 June 2016

Top Gear

Happily in Britain, we've had some of the best journalists covering topics like motoring and sport ever to make it to print, LJK Setright, Denys Watkins-Pitchford, etcetera. Unfortunately this benign circumstance is tainted by the fact we've had pretty much all the worst ones too. Somewhere not too low down the running, you'll find Jeremy Clarkson a bit of a tit but entertaining with his prose; Clarkson, of course, made his name with the original Top Gear. His style was/is suited to the tele, where his shortcomings like his appreciation of technical issues, such as: why muscle cars have a live axles not independent suspension, could be overlooked.

If you want an insight into just how bad the original Top Gear was before Clarkson made his influence felt, take a gander at this clip, it offends in just about every possible way. One of the reasons it's so bad of course, is it's tailored to the brief, that is: do a humorous piece on the Trabant. Integrity flies out the window and hides in the neighbour's coal bunker when journalists do that, things like facts and reality become awkward and suborned to the brief.

The other thing that sticks out, is that the journalist (I can't be bothered to look up his name) really sticks his foot in his mouth early on in the piece. He talks about "lifting off" into a corner and complains about the free wheel facility when he tries this in the Trabant. Right okay--so he doesn't know how to drive safely, a good deal of the cars on the road in 89 were rear wheel drive and lifting off in say, a 3 series BMW sans traction control while going into a corner, is gonna see your tail floating past your ear pretty quick. What's worse, is that this howler makes it to the cut, which means the editor and probably the producer don't know any better than their journo--flip's sake.


  1. I don't drive, so I don't watch Top Gear. Chris Evans is taking a bit of stick at the moment, eh?

    1. Yeah he does seem to be getting a bit of unfair commentary, although I should state I haven't seen it myself either, in fact I haven't watched it for a while. I'm not a big Evans fan mind you, he's a step up from Russell Brand, to be honest though, I think I even Graham Norton would've been a better choice.

      The problem with the show though is tedious fakery they kept foisting off on the viewers. It's a BBC culture problem, they just can't get away from the minstrel show mentality. Clarkson and crew got away with it because they were aware enough to employ a bit of irony.