youngian wrote:His popularity around Europe and beyond is huge. I can only guess that a lot of people like cars and Top Gear is possibly the only programme that covers the subject in a entertaining and innovative way whose format translates to any country. I'm sure Top Gear would survive post Clarkson. Chris Evans springs to mind for some reason.
Guy Martin has also been suggested.
I'm sure I've said before, but I like Top Gear myself because I like cars, travel and arsing about. Clarkson's obviously, OBVIOUSLY a cock, but then he himself never suggests otherwise and - taken as the blatant character he is - not really the relentless source of right-wing nastiness he's often made out to be. In fact, given he doesn't expect anyone to remotely take him seriously (unlike, say, Littlejohn - and by the same token he's not spiteful in the way Dickie is either), he probably does 'the right' more harm than good by being so identifiably rubbish and clueless and more or less admitting as much.
If he's actually been stupid enough to lamp someone then he needs an almighty bollocking at the bare minimum, but I also think he's obviously an easy target. He makes dodgy remarks, he likes petrol-guzzling cars, he's a dinosaur etc. But all the things he's done - and worse - would be immediately excused in others. For example Keith Lemon makes far more, hideously sexist remarks in his show, but that's OK because we're supposed to be laughing at him. Marcus Brigstocke has been critical of him on Twitter - but then he was a hypocritical complete shit to his wife and had an affair just after writing about how great his family life was, then whined about how sad he was on twitter for months inbetween tweets pushing his new show. Behind the scenes all manner of well regarded actors and actresses are supposed to be horrific to work for and I suspect juniors get all manner of abuse that a shove about catering would make pale in comparison. The difference is, Clarkson's dirty washing is always aired in public and we are always demanded to tut at it.
It's a strange situation in that I almost feel I should dislike him by default because I'm left wing (and indeed people I know are often surprised I don't), but I just don't. I don't see the intensely harmful threat to race, sex and the environment he's framed as sometimes. I see a middle-aged idiot. And crucially, unlike Boris, not one projecting that image as cover for actually being a grasping, corrupt bastard. I quite often wonder if it's not so much him but the people that like him and stand up for him (Liddle, Fawkes, Katie Hopkins, Cameron) who are the reason others call for his head. It's not they genuinely see Clarkson as a threat, it's more that they desperately want to finally get him to get one over on those who support him who they dislike all the more. And of course the unsavoury types all support him largely because they think doing so probably annoys lefties.
He's his own worst enemy. But his other worst enemies are his supporters, because they make his natural enemies hate him a thousandfold more.