After the Murdoch Sun’s incessant pursuit of Chris Evans and rubbishing of the revamped BBC Top Gear - which, by pure coincidence you understand, had dispensed with the services of Murdoch pundit Jeremy Clarkson, following his racial and physical assault of a producer - Evans left the show, conceding that he had given it his best shot, but that he was not best placed to lead the team. And then it went quiet.
But now Top Gear is back on our screens, and so back has come the Sun, this time to tell readers to “look over there” at any other motoring show they can find. Conveniently, the show they are now promoting at every opportunity is the one featuring Jezza, The Grand Tour, which has not eclipsed the viewing figures for even the Evans version of Top Gear, let alone the one featuring Clarkson and his two co-stars.
What to do? Happily for the Murdoch goons, one of those co-stars fell off a motorcycle while filming in Mozambique. The Sun instantly promoted this to front page lead: “After Top Gear Injury … HAMMOND HORROR CRASH No 2 … Grand Tour star out cold in motorbike fall”. Yes, we have economic and political turmoil at home, but for the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker, the big news is a bloke fell off his bike.
But do go on: “Grand Tour presenter Richard Hammond badly hurt in motorbike crash in remote Mozambique after almost dying in Top Gear collision 11 years ago … The TV star was knocked out as he fell from his motorbike while filming, miles from medical help”. Except he wasn’t “miles from medical help” as the show has medics on the team.
I span the story, pitched it to the Sun, and then I got WELL AND TRULY RUMBLED
Still, there was always Sun man Clarkson to over-egg the pudding. “Hammond’s co-star Jeremy Clarkson said of his pal’s horror motorbike crash: ‘He really did hurt himself quite badly’”. How badly? “He lay unconscious in the road in remote Mozambique, miles from medical help …Crew on TV’s The Grand Tour raced to Richard’s aid, mindful he suffered serious brain damage in a 288mph smash 11 years ago. It is not known if he was wearing a helmet in the latest drama”. Sun hacks can’t be arsed doing research no shock horror.
Still, there was always someone in the Sun newsroom to play Let’s Pretend. “A show source said: ‘Richard was travelling quite fast when he came off. It caused instant horror on set … There was a lot of concern … If his injuries had been serious it wouldn’t have been easy to get medical attention … It’s very remote there and facilities are basic’”. What’s this “if his injuries had been serious”? So they weren’t serious?
Apparently not. “The source added: ‘The lads are known for having a laugh on set but Richard’s previous accident is fresh in their minds. They were all shaken by the latest incident … But now they know Richard is fine they are back to jokes and banter”. So that’s another Sun front page pack of lies, then. And guess what? “The accident is still expected to feature in the second series of the Amazon Prime motoring show later this year”.
Not only is it a non-story, it should have been clearly marked as advertorial. But good to see the Sun is as worth avoiding as it ever was. Remember - Don’t Buy The Sun.