The legendary Jeremy Clarkson has been sacked from Top Gear and the public is lining up to suggest suitable replacements. Some suggestions are so laughable, it’s clear many have never bothered to analyse the attraction of the programme. The ideal host must be a “lad!” A butch, non PC, man’s man, with knowledge and appreciation of cars, a robust sense of humour, red blooded, instant sex appeal, who enjoys challenging the establishment and bows to no man. Easy, right?It’s hard therefore to understand why many people have suggested Stephen Fry. Sadly, Stephen has suffered from depression all his life, and at times has seemed too sensitive for even the rough and tumble of twitter. Erudite certainly, popular, definitely, but “lad” is the last word to describe him.
Even worse is the suggestion of Caitlin Moran. The thought made me laugh uncontrollably. Could anyone be worse? We think she’s brilliant, said her offended supporters, but so is Liz Jones, and she wouldn’t be any good either. Excellent writer though Caitlin is, she is a Labour luvvie who has made her name writing about her unhappy childhood. It’s hard to think of anyone less suitable.
Except Owen Jones? Blessed with youthful looks, he looks 16 not 30, and is highly intelligent. Prior to his media career, Jones worked as a trade-union lobbyist and as a parliamentary researcher for the Labour Party. Clarkson made his name laughing at people like that.
Chris Evans wouldn’t be too bad, but he has ruled himself out. Piers Morgan is punchable for all the wrong reasons. Suzie Hunt, Angela Rippon, Clare Balding, not too too bad, but lack that essential something. The only candidate who ticks all the boxes and then some, is actually Boris, but right now, he seems to have his hands full.
Rather than see a great programme go down the tubes, maybe the BBC should rethink the Clarkson situation.