Facebook and Twitter have been positively dancing with passionate criticism against the BBC’s most unlikely Sunday night pin-up since yesterday. It was reported he’d attempted to throw a punch at his hapless assistant producer after there’d been a complete lack of food for production after a long day’s filming.
Amongst the furore following this ‘fracas’ with the producer, barely anyone at all has questioned the stupidity of the producer himself. If current information is to be believed, this assistant producer has worked in his position for ten years and should therefore know the ropes by now. He should know that after a long day’s filming- often with few breaks for the sake of the programme’s continuity- crew and presenters alike are going to be so hungry they’d eat the interior of a Morris Minor. They’d be so tired, they could fall asleep against the nearest Jimmy Jib, and the presenters would have continued throughout for the sake of professionalism.
So when it comes to combining such conditions with the renowned temperament of Clarkson, surely any AP worth his salt should have known that food and rest would be needed…. Or a ‘dust up’ would be sure to break loose. At 6 ‘ 5” , Clarkson standing on his feet all day long exuding wild animation for the cameras couldn’t possibly be expected to ‘ go to his room with no supper’, whether he was the star of the show or not.
There has been virtually no discernable statement from the production team or the producer’s camp since yesterday’s bomb-shell. Just an ongoing plethora of theories on whether James May and Richard Hammond would leave if Top Gear is permanently pulled from the BBC schedule along with Clarkson.
Twitter has, of course, sprung into action with ‘Change.org’ collecting over 300k followers in a petition to #BringbackClarkson. But throughout this whole sorry debacle, all one can concentrate on is the good ship BBC rushing to make a knee-jerk decision in aid of what it perceives its viewers would want. Following a feeble complaint from said AP after the dust up, the powers that be took the predictable measure of going down the PC route of ‘let’s get Clarkson’ again. They didn’t think that it may be a better, safer option to simply shift the producer sideways onto a different programme (as they did with me when my AP took exception to my accent over a decade ago).
The fact of the matter is that the average man on the street couldn’t care less what a producer, assistant producer or executive producer is. They care about the presenters as they are the ones visiting their living rooms every day.
As these are the people currently paying the BBC licence fee and seeing the man who completely transformed Top Gear, Clarkson is who should be staying.
Love him or loathe him, he is the programme. The BBC should take heed as after all the fuss has died down they could stand to lose their most lucrative programme of all time; as I see it, because an assistant producer couldn’t cope with the sure-fire results of messing up his job.
Tess Egerton © 2015