As part of my morning routine – before I do anything that resembles ‘work’… I make me some coffee and graze my favourite automotive and racing websites. One of which, is of course, TopGear.com. This morning was no different, except – everything was different. You see, typically – in the image you see above, you would see Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May alongside the Stig (dude with the white helmet for those of you who live on Mars). This morning though, there was no Hammond, no May, and no Clarkson… just the Stig.
Needless to say – this was a shock to my system. Not that it should be a surprise, since the last few weeks in the auto-world has been dominated by the ‘fracus’ involving Jeremy Clarkson and one of TopGear’s producers, leading to Clarkson’s dismissal by the BBC. With Clarkson gone, Hammond and May are rolling with their dude and also seemingly stepping away from the series. Shout out to sticking together, by the way – whoever was wrong or right.
A shock nonetheless, to us… gearheads. The population of the world where for some odd reason, are infatuated with the sound of combustion and rubber propelling us at speeds un-imaginable 100 years ago. At the end of the day, it is us that pay the ultimate price. It’s not only us either, as the car world’s number 1 marketing machine is now in serious peril.
TopGear’s influence on the auto industry seems impossible to imagine. With global viewership of 350 million, it seemed the success and failure of a product hinged on what they said on the show. So much so, that some auto-makers changed parts or made improvements to their products after hearing what TopGear had to say… actually, now that I think of it, it’s what Clarkson, May, and Hammond had to say.
Some say, Clarkson had it coming. He’d been in hot water with the BBC for a while for dropping ‘inappropriate comments’ in certain shows. In my opinion, that’s what made him so funny. I mean we’re a generation that watches Chappelle’s Show and laughs our asses off at racist, sexist, and offensive humour. Sorry BBC, a ‘racist-joke’ is the new ‘pie-in-the-face’. Is that our fault? I don’t know.. but these are the times we live in, and Clarkson understood that and gave the people what they wanted. I think that was a big part of the magic – because the show became so much more than a car show. It was beautifully produced, featured incredible music, and took us to the North Pole, jungles of the Amazon, deserts of Africa, and so many more places. I really miss it already, and it’s only been a couple of weeks now. Even my girlfriend mentioned on Sunday: “I miss TopGear”…
They say the series will go on, but from the surprise I got from not seeing those three dudes who have been with me every Sunday for almost 13 years, I just don’t know how I’m going to respond to it. We are in the midst of a messy divorce, and our dads (Clarkson, Hammond, May) have been kicked out of the house by our mom (BBC). We’re 13 years old, and going to have to welcome some new asshole to take over what our dads did so well for so long. Something tells me the hardest part is yet to come.
#RIP TopGear. You will always be a big part of my life, and I will never forget you.