He has a face like a dropped pie, infuriates the righteous political left, is followed by millions of people around the world and remains a constant cause of upset and rebuke at the BBC: what’s not to like about Jeremy Clarkson?
That depends on who is doing the talking.
Clarkson, 54, has been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation into allegations that he punched Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon because he failed to deliver a hot dinner after a day’s filming. Ever since the story broke it seems Clarkson has been on the defensive and next week we will know for sure if he is to be consigned to the dust bin of television history.
Not that he’s going gently into that final good night.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the Top Gear host used a London charity dinner Thursday to brand BBC executives “f—— b——-” and hinted that he expects to be sacked over the current row. He blamed the furore on the corporation before adding: “The BBC have f—– themselves…. It was a great show and they f—– it up.”
Well of course they did, Jeremy. The BBC has never really known what to do with you since day one. You are the rare sort of thing the public broadcaster will never be: a success. You have taken the BBC brand around the world and reached places it could never have imagined, all based on the simple premise of doing something people like to watch.
Who knew that would work? I mean, just fancy the BBC produce a show that people really wanted to watch? Not only that, Top Gear thumbed its nose at plenty of precious elites and remained steadfastly normal in a world constrained by political correctness and a desire not to offend.
A mark of that Clarkson style was again evident at the charity dinner. According to the Telegraph, Clarkson was happy to offer his services to drive anyone around the Top Gear track.
Clarkson said: “I’ll drive somebody around in whatever I can get hold of. I’m sacked so it’s probably an Austin Maestro. So who knows? But anyway it will be my last ever lap of the Top Gear track.”
He added: “There was an 18-year waiting list to be in the audience of Top Gear, but the BBC has f—– themselves. It was a great show and they’ve f—– it up. Tonight’s the night when you have the opportunity.”
So more strength to you, Jeremy Clarkson. May you keep offending and stimulating and rocking the establishment’s chauffeur-driven limousine.
I for one would hate to see you disappear. I don’t always agree with Top Gear but I like to be challenged as much as I like to be amused. The thought of backing somebody who upsets the carpet strolling management minions of the BBC is even more appealing.
BBC director general Tony Hall will announce his decision on Clarkson’s fate next week.