The Presenter of the popular BBC TV Show Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson is once again in the spotlight for being apparently naughty; this time not for something the funny man has said but rather for what he has done. In an act of what many are calling simply stupid, the presenter engaged in a stunt that he called ‘lapping your own car’ donning his trademark pair of blue jeans during the first episode of the new series aired on Sunday night. The daring act involved Clarkson slipping out of his drivers window climbing onto the roof of the car – saying a few words expressing his delight at the fact – and coming back through the passenger window and continuing to drive whilst his co-presenters James May (camcorder in hand) and Richard Hammond sat in the back! After completing the stunt Clarkson shakes his fist like he’s just scored the winning goal at the FA cup final to the genuine laughter of Hammond and probably many others.
After watching the stunt this morning, it struck me as somewhat dangerous as the presenter did not have any protective equipment or clothing on – and yes as little idiotic. The vehicle may have been doing 20mph but nonetheless a fall from its roof would have caused at best some painful cuts and bruises. For sure, very stupid. But the presenter seems to have no regrets about the show tweeting on Sunday night;
Heartfelt thanks for the almost completely unanimous thumbs up for tonight’s show. Next week, it’s a bit more car orientated.
After the BBC taking complaints about the stunt Clarkson’s antics have become the subject of much debate. But people, this is Top Gear! What do you expect? Millions of viewers watch the show weekly expecting both an informative and hilarious show. Again the show has not failed to deliver on that expectation. In once sense the complaints are justified as you can image a few youngsters this weekend taking to the local supermarket car park to replicate the stunt; Top Gear being so popular it would not surprise me if a recreation of the stunt does not go viral with spotty teenagers at the helm of their Citroën Saxos engaging in copycat behaviour. Most of us however have enough common sense to not do that and realise there is a difference between what you see on the television and what is viable in real life.
Having said that, there are always going to be silly copycats aren’t there? There are well known murder cases tried in the US where the defence presented was that the accused believed he was in the Matrix. Does that mean we should stop people watching the sci-fi blockbuster ever again? Clearly not. For me the stunt was humorous and probably extremely well controlled to minimise the risks to the presenters. I would suggest that the vast majority of viewers will share the same opinion and will refrain from doing ‘a lap of your own car’ on Britain’s roads and in its car parks. But if you do happen to see this being recreated I would suggest keeping a safe distance at all costs – but make sure you film it!
Here’s a link to the episode, check it out yourself! The stunt starts at around 30,30.