Top Gear rules….

September 23, 2011

One of the few advantages of ‘working from home’ is that I can catch up with all the episodes of Top Gear that I might have missed over the last decade or so … and quite a few that I have already seen, like the one where our fearless presenters run like hell from a bunch of murderous rednecks and Clarkson suggests that in some parts of America, people have started to mate with vegetables.

According to my acquaintance Gervaise (well, I would call him my ‘friend’, but … well, that name…) who has dodged more BBC management culls than Clarkson has had greasy fry-ups, Top Gear is one of Britain’s most successful exports, although it isn’t watched much in the southern USA, I gather.

Anyway, one of the buyers is Channel Dave, which specialises in hearty laddish programmes about cars, and panels of jolly blokes sitting around, wondering if and when they’ll be able to tell the fart joke. In particular it shows reruns of Top Gear from the last 100 series, but not in any order that I can discern, and certainly not chronological, so that the cars may stay much the same (fast, so low that you understand why a miniature presenter was required, and often red), but the presenters age and get younger as if the seasons changed.

Snoozing through an afternoon lately, I was alarmed to see, every time I woke up, an elder statesman Clarkson, followed by a puppyish version, followed by somewhere in the middle, the hair diffident as if the formidable Mrs C  had just brought him back from the barber.

It is an alarming but intriguing experience, less stylised than Doctor Who’s regenerations and somehow all the more convincing.  Or do I mean Dorian Grey…in reverse?


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