It has been a few months now since the “fracas” between Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson and producer Oisin Tymon and it still has us licking our wounds. I completely respect the BBC’s decision, but I can’t help feeling that they have made a catastrophic mistake by sacking Clarkson. Top Gear was the BBC’s biggest cash cow, mostly because of the show that he had built along with Hammond and May.
With Clarkson gone and the other two following suit, one can only hope that the show will go on. Who will watch it though, is another question entirely. To woo Hammond and May back to the show, the BBC even prepared a four million Pound contract. But before the negotiations even began, the two denied the possibility of going back without Jeremy.
On Sunday, the world saw Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May present Top Gear for the very last time. Episode eight of series 22 or ‘The Big Send-off Special’ as it is known is a mix of the last two episodes of the series which were recorded before Clarkson’s sacking. James and Hammond presented it with a life-size statue of an elephant named Jeremy positioned behind them (literally the elephant in the room). There was no crowd, just the empty studio, with a few cars and the sofa set with the engine-block coffee table.
The first segment was about classic cars, they each had to buy a classic car on a budget and fix them up while the producers constantly interrupted them with golden envelopes making them complete a series of challenges without breaking down or having any incidents. Jeremy bought a Fiat 124 Spider, Hammond bought an MGB GT and May bought a Peugeot 304 Cabriolet.
This was then interrupted with the two of them sitting on the sofa and explaining the key points of the next segment while saying that it wasn’t going to be possible to have the news or the ‘star in a reasonably priced car’. This challenge was buying an SUV on a budget, 250 Pounds to be exact. The three of them landed up at an adventure park and in their usual fashion, began to banter about how their cars were better.
Jeremy bought a Vauxhall Frontera for 140 Pounds, Hammond bought a Jeep Cherokee for the full 250 and May bought a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin for 150 Pounds. Here they slightly lost the plot. The challenges were funny, just like most of their ‘sensible’ challenges. One of which even had a race, no, not with the Stig, but his ‘Leisure Activity Cousin’. The episode ended with heartfelt yet brief goodbyes from the two of them and the end credits played without the traditional Jessica by The Allman Brothers Band. In fact, it went on without any music at all. It somehow was a fitting end to the long relationship they had with the show.
Top Gear existed before the three of them and will continue to chuff on without them. Chris Evans, the BBC 1 radio presenter has been roped in to present Series 23 onwards with auditions for others soon.
The three stooges will soon return with their own show, rumour has it that they are in talks with BBC’s rivals, iTV and USA’s NetFlix. So Top Gear addicts don’t need to worry about it for too long.