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Thursday 24 December 2015

Sun Top Gear Smear Busted

The BBC’s flagship show about all things motors, Top Gear, will return to the screen in May next year. And it will do so without the team that fronted it for so many years until Jeremy Clarkson lost it with producer Oisin Tymon recently. There will be no Jezza, no Hamster, and no Captain Slow. But things change: after all, Top Gear’s first presenters included Angela Rippon. The press, though, is uneasy about the change.
This is especially true at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, which, by sheer coincidence you understand, pays Clarkson a non-trivial sum of money to pen a regular column. With no Jezza on Top Gear, the Sun’s pundit may suffer a lowering of his profile, and that would never do. So Rupe’s downmarket troops have done what comes naturally - they’ve used the occasion as another excuse to put the boot into the hated Beeb.

Top Gear turmoil as Chris Evans picks two unknown hosts and backroom two leavescreams the headline, above an alleged “exclusive”, probably because no other paper was desperate enough to make it up. So what’s the story? “German racing driver Sabine Schmitz and motoring journalist Chris Harris will line up with ex-Formula One star David Coulthard and [Chris] Evans”. Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes?

But our exclusive revelation of their appointments comes after executive producer Lisa Clark left this week, having joined less than five months ago”. Backroom staff change no shock horror. What does the Sun have to back up the claims of “turmoil”? Ah well. They have “a source”. “A source said: ‘Lisa is very well respected and her departure has been a real shock. There is a lot of upheaval at the moment’”.

Do go on. “The turmoil comes amid claims of disquiet over the new presenters after stars such as Zoe Ball, Suzi Perry and Jodie Kidd all ruled themselves out”. Yeah, and so did Angela Rippon. Can the Murdoch doggies manage something better? Ooh look, they’ve got “an insider”. “An insider said: ‘Sabine and Chris are virtually unknown to the wider public and David isn’t the most charismatic driver’”.

And to that I call bullshit. David Coulthard has been part of the Beeb’s Formula 1 coverage for some years. He’s a bloody good commentator and analyst, and he’s popular with the viewers. Sabine Schmitz is already well known to Top Gear viewers, and Chris Harris runs his own popular YouTube channel. In any case, how well-known were Richard Hammond and James May before they appeared on Top Gear? They weren’t.

The Sun story is just a cheap smear, a routine hatchet job to try and rubbish the new format because the Murdoch press is having a sulk after one of their overmonied pundits got the boot from the show. Hence they make up “a source” and “an insider” to slag off Top Gear. It’s just more of the usual tabloid hypocrisy: they want the BBC run down, but can’t want to generate clicks off the back of its programming.

The new Murdoch HQ in London is called “The News Building”. Oxymoron of the decade.


Anonymous said...

Harris is a very popular appointment judging by the comments I've seen, hopefully they'll review cars properly. However, one thing. James May had been at Autocar and I recall appeared reviewing cars on TV before his appointment, he was well known as a car journalist.
Hammond was known as a radio presenter, both had served solid time and were good professionals.

Of course, Jason Dawe was in the first series instead of James May and the likes of Ed China used to appear early on - any show will be tweaked and worked over.

The really interesting thing of course will be how long Amazon will wear the dodgy remarks and "jokes" - I don't think they will, the irony is that the "PC BBC" wore Clarkson etc. for far longer than a commercial broadcaster would have ever wore them and in their other commercial work none of the 3 ever made a remark or statement like they did on TG.

Prince Philip said...

Typical. You wait all year for an oxymoron and then TWO come along in 24 hours!

SteveB said...

Didn't I suggest Schmitz and Coulthard months ago? Sabine has appeared on Top Gear several times and is well known to viewers as Queen of the Nürburgring . In the other direction, Coulthard already appears on german car shows and is known to their viewers. And Germany is an important export market for the show (the little britain brigade normally fail to recognise that the show only has the huge budget because it makes so much money from exports).

It's Evans that worries me! He does have past form for abandoning shows in mid series.

Anonymous said...

I only ever watched Top Gear twice. At which point it became all too obvious what kind of a tenth rate suburban gimp Clarkson was. Which meant I immediately stopped watching that pile of unmitigated steaming shite. So no surprise when I heard he had joined Murdoch's dog pound, or the content of his "contributions." Even less surprise when his thuggery eventually surfaced even at Aunty BBC.

Clarkson is an oblong headed, racist ranting dope of the kind promoted by neocon propaganda rags like the Scum and Murdoch. He's a point man on mediocrity duty.

I have no idea how he'll do on Amazon since I haven't the slightest intention of watching him or his fellow gobshites. But I hope they fall as flat on their untalented faces as Murdoch's propaganda. God knows they've all got it coming.

Peter McCormack said...

The Evans of old is very different from Evans today. He's now very much the professional, who acknowledges his previous dick-headedness as immaturity brought about by explosive success.