Uploaded on 21 Sep 2008
Jeremy has his say about 4x4s and his novel take on the school run.
March 17, 2017
February 25, 2017
Published on 17 May 2013
James rambles about barcodes and supermarkets before unleashing his perfect Jeremy Clarkson impression!
February 18, 2017
Published on 23 Aug 2016
Top Gear‘s James May on How to drive a Ford model T
February 9, 2017
Uploaded on 21 Oct 2011
November 27, 2016
Published on 25 Nov 2016
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June 17, 2016
Here’s what Clarkson confessed to the Sunday Times:
TO JUDGE from the letters I get and the remarks in the street, it seems the most memorable thing I did on Top Gear was a short segment about the Reliant Robin. You may remember: I drove it around Sheffield and it kept falling over.
Well, now’s the time to come clean. A normal Reliant Robin will not roll unless a drunken rugby team is on hand. Or it’s windy. But in a headlong drive to amuse and entertain, I’d asked the backroom boys to play around with the differential so that the poor little thing rolled over every time I turned the steering wheel.
Naturally, the health and safety department was very worried about this and insisted that the car be fitted with a small hammer that I could use, in case I was trapped after the roll, to break what was left of the glass.
Reliant sold plenty of cheap, usable little three-wheelers, and somehow managed to never be charged for crimes against humanity. The cars weren’t the most stable things in the world (no pointy-fronted three-wheeler is) but they certainly didn’t tumble around like a roofie’d Mary Lou Retton at every turn.
Jason Torchinsky, “Clarkson Reveals Bombshell: Top Gear Modified Reliant Robins To Make Them Roll”, Jalopnik, 2016-01-13.
April 17, 2016
March 30, 2016
It was apparently quite a surprise when Jeremy Clarkson, formerly of the BBC TV show Top Gear, came out in favour of Britain staying within the European Union. Patrick West explains why it shouldn’t surprise anyone at all:
While Top Gear was a vehicle in which to issue mischievous slights about Indians and Mexicans, not a series seemed to pass without a snide remark from Clarkson about people from Birmingham. Or Liverpool. Or Scotland. Or the north of England. Or the West Country. In fact, anywhere outside London. His Sunday Times column over the years has been the same.
As he once observed: ‘Provincial Britain is probably one of the most depressing places on earth… the towns, with their pedestrian precincts and the endless parade of charity shops and estate agents… There is nothing you want to see. Nothing you want to do. You wade knee-deep through a sea of discarded styrofoam trays smeared with bits of last night’s horseburger… for the most part urban Britain is utterly devoid of any redeeming feature whatsoever.’ Here, Clarkson displays all the prejudices of a sneering, metropolitan, right-on BBC comedian. As a paid-up member of the snide establishment, Clarkson is ideal pro-EU material.
Among those who urge us to remain in the EU, a certain type of patrician class has been emerging. Its members may hail from different political traditions, but among them we find rich, privately educated, well-mannered, conspicuously cosmopolitan, paternal and patronising types, people who work in entertainment or big business, and many of whom have a material interest for wanting to remain in the EU: dirt-cheap, servile foreign labour; pliant Czech nannies; and second homes in Tuscany and the south of France.
Ever since Clarkson dropped his Yorkshire accent, he has sought to become part of that elite. And now that he is a member of an executive club, why else wouldn’t he want to remain part of another: the EU?
October 5, 2014
For a change, it isn’t anything he said:
Top Gear‘s crew has had to abandon their cars at the roadside and flee Argentina after being pelted with stones. The incident happened after it emerged they were using a vehicle with a number plate that apparently refers to the Falklands War.
A Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL, which some people suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict of 1982, was among those abandoned. BBC bosses have said the number plate was merely a coincidence and was not chosen deliberately, but it led to protests in Argentina, including a demonstration by a group of war veterans who protested outside the hotel used by the show team.
The executive producer of Top Gear, Andy Wilman, said: “Top Gear production purchased three cars for a forthcoming programme; to suggest that this car was either chosen for its number plate, or that an alternative number plate was substituted for the original, is completely untrue.”
Even if Wilman is dissembling about the license plate … just how flipping sensitive do you have to be to object to a sort-of abbreviation, in a foreign language, in the characters on a license plate? Who would ordinarily notice or care what the license plate may or may not hint at, unless someone is busy trying to stir up trouble? That said, Top Gear thrives on controversy, so it’s quite possible that they hoped they’d draw some attention, but probably not to the extent of being forced out of the country.
Update: Clarkson is now accusing the Argentine government of setting a trap for the Top Gear film crew.
The presenter was said to have infuriated locals by driving through South America in a Porsche with the numberplate H982 FKL, seen as a goading reference to the 1982 Falklands conflict.
However, Clarkson said the plate was “not the issue” — he claimed it was an unfortunate coincidence and that he removed it two days into the trip — and blamed the state government for orchestrating an ambush by mobs armed with pickaxe handles, paving stones and bricks.
“There is no question in my mind that we walked into a trap,” Clarkson said.
“We were English (apart from one Aussie camera guy and a Scottish doctor” and that was a good enough reason for the state government to send 29 people into a night filled with rage and flying bricks.”
He claimed the crew were “plainly herded into an ambush” and said: “Make no mistake, lives were at stake.”
The team were confronted at their hotel by a group claiming to be war veterans.
“Richard Hammond, James May and I bravely hid under the beds in a researcher’s room while protesters went through the hotel looking for us,” Clarkson said.
They then fled by plane to Buenos Aires — having “rounded up the girls” on the team — leaving the rest of their crew behind.
The crew were forced to make a gruelling six-hour trek to the Chilean border, abandoning the Porsche and their camera equipment at the side of the road.
January 15, 2014
March 12, 2012
January 20, 2012
The anti-Top Gear crowd: “In certain quarters, Clarkson-bashing has started to replace tennis as a favourite pastime”
Patrick Hayes on the tut-tutting, disapproving folks who only watch Top Gear to generate more outrage at Jeremy Clarkson’s antics:
I wonder what proportion of the five million viewers of the Top Gear India Special over Christmas were desperate-to-be-offended members of the chattering classes? Skipping the second instalment of Great Expectations, they no doubt sat through the show solely to tweet about how awful Jeremy Clarkson and Co’s monkeying about on the road to the Indian Himalayas was.
In certain quarters, Clarkson-bashing has started to replace tennis as a favourite pastime. He was chastised for offending blind people when he called former UK prime minister Gordon Brown a ‘one-eyed Scottish idiot’, censured for driving while sipping a gin and tonic en route to the North Pole, and generated fury when a couple of years ago he called for the Welsh language to be abolished. But never has he generated so much controversy as the Twitch-hunt that took place against him at the end of last year, after he made a quip that public sector strikers ‘should all be shot’.
This was so evidently a joke, although a crap one, that you had to wonder whether the tens of thousands of ‘offended’ people who took to their keyboards to campaign to get him sacked were for real. Is it humanly possible to be that po-faced? Evidently so. Irony-phobic Labour leader Ed Miliband led the way, calling the comments ‘absolutely disgraceful and disgusting’. A sour-mouthed trade union rep even compared his comments to the atrocities carried out by former Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi.
[. . .]
For these petty censors, it’s not enough simply to change the channel. The danger, so the argument goes, is that Clarkson could become a red-blooded role model to millions of impressionable viewers who will mimic his expressions and share his juvenile, PC-averse passions. Attempts to tame Jezza are invariably attempts to try to reform the viewing public, too. If not stopped now, it would seem, Top Gear could generate an army of misogynistic, environment-despoiling racists-in-the-making.
The danger doesn’t come from Clarkson, however. It comes from these Clarkson-bashing killjoys who are intolerant of informal banter, suspicious of anything ‘fun’, taking every word said in jest literally and moaning to the authorities because Clarkson sets a bad example. These are the ones who, to steal a phrase from the man himself, ‘should be avoided like unprotected sex with an Ethiopian transvestite’.
January 12, 2012
I haven’t seen the Top Gear special in question, but from the complaints, it sounds like a pretty typical outing for the boys:
In the letter, published in the Daily Telegraph, the HCI criticised a lack of cultural sensitivity and called on the BBC to take action to pacify those offended.
One Indian diplomat told the BBC News website: “People are very upset because you cannot run down a whole society, history, culture and sensitivities.
“India is a developing country, we have very many issues to address, all that is fine but it is not fine to broadcast this toilet humour.”
He added: “There are many parts of the programme that people have complained about.
“It’s not only Indians, it’s also our British friends — it goes much beyond.”
The diplomat cited an “offensive” banner placed on the side of a train — reading “the United Kingdom promotes British IT for your company” — which read quite differently when the carriages were parted.
And he also criticised a scene in the programme which showed Clarkson taking off his trousers at a party to demonstrate how to use a trouser press.
Showing off the customised Jaguar, complete with toilet roll on its aerial, presenter Jeremy Clarkson said on the programme: “This is perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots.”
Update: Jeremy Clarkson strikes again, this time agitating the folks on the Isle of Sheppey and recent immigrants:
Clarkson wrote: “Mostly, the Isle of Sheppey is a caravan site.
“There are thousands of thousands of mobile homes, all of which I suspect belong to former London cabbies, the only people on Earth with the knowledge to get there before it’s time to turn round and come home again.”
“And what of the locals? Well, they tend to be the sort of people who arrived in England in the back of a refrigerated truck or clinging to the underside of a Eurostar train.”
“And that reinforces my point rather well.
“Mboto has somehow evaded the gunmen and the army recruiters in his remote Nigerian village. He walked north, avoiding death and disease, and then somehow made it right across the Sahara desert to Algeria.
“Here, he managed to overwhelm the security men with their AK-47s and get on a boat to Italy, where he sneaked past the guards.”
The article in Top Gear mag adds: “He made it all the way across Europe to Sangatte, from which he escaped one night and swam to Kent.
“But that stumped him. Getting out of there was impossible, so he decided to make a new life in Maidstone.”
December 2, 2011
Some sense the evil hand of . . . Jeremy Clarkson?
It was to be the biggest strike in a generation. People were openly and unabashedly comparing Wednesday’s day of action over public sector pensions to the general strike of 1926. It was to bring Britain to a standstill. Mark a turning point in the battle against the cuts instigated by the spawns of the evil Iron Lady. Become a talking point that would strike fear into the cold heart of Cameron and pave the way to bigger, more decisive action.
Except, erm, the very next morning it had been almost completely forgotten. It barely registered as a blip on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme. Newspaper coverage was on the whole sympathetic, but slight. None of the predicted chaos came to pass. Prime minister Cameron could quite safely dismiss the strike as a ‘damp squib’ and provoke few comments except from the usual suspects. People shrugged and went back to work. Far from being a Great Event like the 1926 strike that people would draw inspiration from in 85 years time, it was barely discussed. As my colleague Brendan O’Neill had anticipated, it all felt more like a ‘loud and colourful PR stunt ultimately designed to disguise the fact that, in truth, trade unions are a sad shadow of their former selves’.
Just as the PR flames were beginning to dim, however, enter Jeremy Clarkson, the cartoonish presenter of Top Gear, who sped to the rescue with a particularly naff joke about the strikers being shot in front of their families. Of course, he didn’t actually mean it. In the context of the programme, BBC1’s The One Show, his remarks were actually more a dig at the BBC: he had in fact been praising the strikers (‘London today has just been empty. Everybody stayed at home, you can whizz about… it’s also like being back in the 70s. It makes me feel at home somehow.) but then said, as it was the Beeb, he had to provide ‘balance’, making his now notorious quip: ‘Frankly, I’d have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families. I mean, how dare they go on strike when they have these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living?’
Update: James Delingpole said he’s been flooded with interview requests since the strike began, largely because of the public’s reaction to the strike:
I got my answer from a chance remark made by Jeremy Vine after our interview. He was telling me about the phone-in he’d done the day before during the public sector workers’ strike and what had astonished him was the mood of the callers. If I remember what he said correctly, one of his studio guests was a nurse on a £40,000 PA salary, with a guaranteed £30,000 pension, and this had not gone down well with the mother-of-three from Northern Ireland struggling as a finance officer in the private sector on a salary of £14,000 and no pension to speak of. The callers were very much on the side of the private sector. In fact, they were on the whole absolutely apoplectic that privileged, relatively overpaid public sector workers with their gold-plated pensions should have the gall to go out on strike when the people who pay their salaries – private sector workers – have to go on slogging their guts out regardless.
[. . .]
After all, as Fraser Nelson reports, the strike itself was a massive flop. Only a minority of union members voted it for it; the turn-out was so poor that the unions felt compelled to send out hectoring letters accusing their membership of being “scabs”; the hospitals – and many schools – stayed open, Heathrow’s immigration queues actually got shorter. This was not the glorious day of action (or inaction) that the militants had hoped for. Nor did it fit into the BBC’s ongoing narrative that Osborne’s vicious cuts (what cuts, we ask) are causing such hardship and misery among the saintly frontline public sector workers who bravely rescue our cats from trees and smilingly change our bed pans that really a Labour government run by Ed Balls is the only option.
Not only were the strikes a failure in numbers terms, though, but more damagingly they were a failure in propaganda terms. As both Fraser Nelson and Jeremy Vine have noted, there really has been a shift in public mood. I remember not more than a year ago going on Vine’s show to state, somewhat provocatively that I’d rather toss my children out on the street than have them sponging off the taxpayer in the public sector, and of course the mainly left-leaning BBC audience went apoplectic. I think if I’d gone on and said the same thing today they would probably have been demanding a statue erected in my honour in Parliament Square.