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Wednesday, 25 March 2015


The decision by the BBC to not renew Jeremy Clarkson's contract is right beyond a shadow of a doubt. In pure Human Resources lingo, he was bang out of order. But, he might appeal......so, let's see.

He duffed up an employee and there is no way he could have or should have escaped the ultimate punishment.

In my managerial years, I have dismissed employees for stealing a can of pop.

The dignity award goes to the producer, Oisin Tymon, who was abused and subjected to physical violence.  He could have gone ballistic publicly but he didn't and that is to his enormous credit. He might do the circuit now, but I hope not.

I think about the back room boys and girls, the support crew and feel very badly about their employment, once reasonably secure but now in the balance because of a bloody tantrum over dinner.

Clarkson is a brilliant presenter and writer, sharp, intelligent and able to explode the absurdities of life. But he is also, as his friend and colleague James May said to journalists "a knob'. He pushes and pushes and pushes and seems to enjoy negative feedback, banter and notoriety.

Top Gear is a superb show, based on cars but laced with capers. The trio of presenters is a broadcasting gift, but sadly, it seems, the chemistry is soon to be changed.

The social media bleugh about who might replace Clarkson is rife. But that is social media's reason to exist. Names mentioned include Chris Evans, Johnny Vaughn, Dermot O'Leary, Jodie Kidd, Steve Coogan.....all, in my humble opinion, ugh candidates. I'm sure a Martian and a Klingon are being considered too.

But it all misses the point.  The current trio gel. Top Gear is, as we have known and loved it (most of us), wonderful entertainment and I speak as someone who couldn't care less about cars. 

Taking someone out and parachuting someone else in just will not work, especially if we are talking about a ten-a-penny presenter, which Jeremy Clarkson was not.

Have a car show, yes, but don't call it Top Gear because that is what it surely will never be without its key catalyst.  However, Clarkson will not be short of a crust, so don't weep too much.

As a manager of nearly 40 years, the BBC did the right thing. As a viewer, I am upset because one of my favourite shows is in the melting pot.

I could give you a long list of Clarkson replacements that would appal me but.....I can't be bothered.

Whatever happens, I think humanity will get over it......especially as I write this, a rescue mission is under way in the Alps following a devastating plane crash. 

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