Monday, September 25, 2006

A tragedy waiting to happen?


If you live in the UK it must have been impossible for you to escape the news of the high speed crash by Top Gear television presenter Richard Hammond, during filming of the series of Top Gear. In fact if you live anywhere in the vicinity of a television, you would have heard the news. So successful is the show, so if you live in Sweden, Australia, Ireland, India or Oman you would have come across Richard Hammond and what could be the best motoring show in the world.

The format is very simple, you have three presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, whilst being incredibly unlike each other they are in fact cast by the same mould. They are witty, clever very un-pc and anti-health and safety, at least on screen. They have a passion for cars and vehicles which you and I could possibly only dream about driving never mind owning. They convey a message which you and I agree upon, if you are in the target demographic of 25 – 55 year olds, why drive a Toyota Prius when you can drive Range Rovers or a Ferraris, to others this is known as midlife crisis, to me it is fun…

Combine all of this with a lot of cheekiness, boyish behaviour, stupid tests, such as how long does it take Jeremy Clarkson to kill off a Toyota Hilux pick up truck?...Thanks Jeremy, I was looking for a second hand of those and the day after your bloody show, the price doubled... There has been some very important test such as how far will a Mini “jump” if fitted with rocket boosters and placed on top of the Holmenkollen, ski jump in Oslo, Norway, something which I always wanted to know…or the race between and 4x4 against a motorised kayak on the shores of Iceland, a study which might be coming in handy one day if global warming is continuing…

So accidents happen that is a fact. People do everything they can to prevent accidents but since you are not in charge of moulding the tires, building the cars, the weather and so forth, there will always be an element of risk. For heavens sake risk starts the moment you get out of bed in the morning, it is a fact of life and we do not need a group of people with the titles Head of Health and safety to tell us that…life thought us that and our kids should be thought the same…

What shouldn’t surprise me, and it didn’t, since Great Britain is a nation which looks up to success stories, people that make it, but only to a certain level, once they hit that level they need to be knocked down, “put in place” and the “who do they think they are” attitude starts to form.

Having followed Top Gear it saddens me that other program makers are now calling for the show to be canned, on the basis that it is unsafe…? What a load of rubbish…They are calling for the programme to be canned because it would leave a gap in the market so they can push their own mediocre programs. Newspapers such as The Guardian were out of the blocks before Richards condition was known, but as always, The Guardian does their own thing and they do not listen to the public.

A week after the accident, Richard Hammond seems, according to reports, to be doing some progress and I am sure he is both deeply grateful for all the support and well wishes to him and his family as he is saddened to hear that the BBC decided to “move” the programme until Richard is better.

Is this only a ploy to allow “health and safety busy bodies” do their calculations in order so that they can put a final nail in the coffin of what once was the greatest motoring show on television? Or does the BBC have the tenacity to stand up against the calls for an end to the show by people who have a financial gain by it being canned?

Well there is of course another solution and whilst Jeremy might have a slight heart attack by me just mentioning it and I do not feel comfortable saying it… ITV…

Think about it of a second, the programme is without doubt based around the three presenters. They could take themselves a huge pay increase, get almost any slot they want, ITV would bite their hands off to get them onboard and the motoring industry would be lining up to give them what they wanted. The audience would put up with the stupid adverts, just in order to see the programme, without doubt...

Instead of making the programme down in Surrey, there are excellent facilities in Little Rissington, The Cotswolds, where incidentally the James Bond movie scene with the ice palace was filmed. Jeremy and Richard would live around the corner so it would cut down their travelling times and thus allow them to spend more time with the family, and their donkeys…should they wish to do so…and I could be hired to carry their bags in return of having a go every now and then in some of their more extravagant cars...

I am sure that we have not heard the last of this…

I would like to add that I wish Richard and his family all the best and let you know that there is a donation page started which you can access here… all for a good cause...

You can also follow Richards progress and email the Top Gear programme here…go on let them know what you think…

1 Comments:

Anonymous Red rock hopper said...

Dear Mr E,
Please can I celebrate my own mid-life crisis by touring the disused airfields on a bicycle?

Saturday, 30 September, 2006  

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