Top Gear", and my telly was rev'd up and burnin' rubber. Frankly this programme should not be listed as prime time or adult viewing, it is for kiddy winks.
Years ago the programme gave up the pretence of being a serious auto programme like the rival "Fifth Gear". Rival is a misnomer ITV's ripost is, (was?) totally misconceived. It had sensible adults and experts talking about cars, metal and pistons. It attracted Bravo viewers -'cause that's the only place you'll see it. "Top Gear", which makes "Blue Peter" seem adult and intellectual is shown in almost every country on the planet.
The reason for its stunning success is simple. It's massive fun, hugely entertaining and appears not to take itself seriously. That of course is a fiction, its success is built on a serious amount of audience research and clever, one might be tempted to say, devilish marketing.
Where else do sensible people drive £170k cars like Scalextric. Since when have waist line challenged presenters (even the Hamster is looking bloated) been able to act like escapees from Just William. This week's edition was a case in point. The fabulous Christmas gift section wouldn't have disgraced my bedroom in 1964 it was so juvenile. And I loved it.
The towering personality is Clarkson. He's the person Simon Cowells looks up to. And quite rightly. Jeremy is a force of nature - saggy jeans holding in a belly that, week after week, get stuffed unnaturally into car cockpits designed for 18 year old with 23" waists. One wonders what would give in a crash: Jeremy's stomach or the safety bag.
This week's show was bling on wheels. All three cars, the Merc, Ferrari and Porsche were completely over the top. The fun was watching these three "dick heads" trying a) to be cool, b) trying to understand American English and c) coming to terms with New York.
I have to say that I could lose the Hamster, he's so knowingly stupid and he has a worrying fixation - the Porsche 911 - which seems to represent a penile extension he believes he's entitled to. No, he's a prick. As for James May "Captain Slow", the less said about him the better. He is the worse sort of know it all - since he appears to know fuck all..
Clarkson, a monster who reigns over bedlam is the true genius. And, I have to admit a really nice guy. His interview with Danny Boyle had me nearly in tears. Now Danny Boyle is a genuinely super man, but it was Clarkson's enthusiasm for the man that brought that out.
As for the cars. Do you know you can rent a Bugatti Veyron for £14,000 a day! I was so pleased I saw one broken down on the hard shoulder at Woodford. No, I don't wet myself over a Maserati or Lambo. However, I'm really excited about the new Ford Focus - I'm sure Jeremy (we're close) would agree that it's stylish without being too rackish, sporty in a understated way and with excellent residuals.
I can't wait for it being shat upon in a forthcoming programme.