While many girls are obsessing over Benedict Cumberbatch, David Beckham or Harry Styles, I fell in love with James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, three middle-aged men who constantly fall over, occasionally drive cars and almost always accidentally set things on fire.
Currently in its 22nd season, the BBC’s hit show “Top Gear” was halted mid-season after Jeremy Clarkson punched a producer, landing the producer in the hospital and Clarkson on suspension.
Just last week, the BBC announced that Clarkson’s contract would not be renewed, and my heart broke.
If you’ve never seen the show, I encourage you to watch it.
Things blow up, million dollar cars do plenty of power slides, there’s loads of tire smoke, and celebrities go around a landing-strip-turned-racetrack in a reasonably priced car.
Even with all their knocking about, the men of “Top Gear” managed to make several world records. In 2013, they were named the world’s most widely-watched factual TV program.
They were the first to drive motorized vehicles to the magnetic North Pole and the first to drive cars across the Makgadikgadi salt flats of Botswana.
It’s incredibly surprising the BBC made the decision to fire Clarkson, simply because “Top Gear” brings in roughly 150 million pounds a year (that’s $290 million U.S. dollars).
BBC now faces an enormous amount of backlash. Fans changed BBC (British Broadcasting Company) to mean Bring Back Clarkson.
A petition of over 1 million signatures was delivered to BBC in a tank by a man dressed as The Stig (a masked race car driver).
Many suspect co-hosts May and Hammond will leave the show as well; May said “the three of us come as a package; it works for very complicated reasons.”
In 2008 Clarkson broke his finger punching Piers Morgan and is known for having a somewhat offensive sense of humor. Hammond managed to anger all of Mexico by a comment on the show, which offended Mexicans by calling them “lazy, feckless and overweight.” In the ‘90s May was fired from a magazine after inserting a hidden message, which was, “So you think it’s really good, yeah? You should try making the bloody thing up; it’s a real pain in the arse.”
Admittedly, the three blokes do not seem the best sort to admire, but in a way, they are.
They taught me loads of things I never thought I needed to know, like how Pagani Zonda is not Scrabble letters thrown together and Bugatti Veyron is not a type of foreign food.
Most importantly I learned you always need to have a good laugh at yourself, advice I used when I found my old Jeep broken down on the side of the highway at one in the morning after the garage it was in earlier that day had caught fire. The situation was so ironic, I laughed first and forgot to cry.
Jeremy Clarkson may be offensive and brash, but he is honest, and that, is the best thing a person can be. He is unapologetically true to himself, unafraid of the repercussions for his opinions, knowing they will come and he will meet them when they do.