Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Jeremy Clarkson just revealed why Chris Evans' Top Gear failed

Clarkson.gif

As he prepares to unleash The Grand Tour and delight angry uncles the world over, Jeremy Clarkson has been offering his thoughts on what went wrong with the last series of Top Gear, which of course saw Chris Evans step down as presenter after its six episode run.

Speaking to the BBC’s Will Gompertz, Clarkson – a former journalist – suggested that the problem was in the writing of the show itself.

"You look at the TV show, you read all the credits, you'll see the cameraman, the sound recordist, you'll see their names...” he said. “You find me one where it says 'written by'. They just cobble it together," he added, cuttingly. "Writing is everything."

It is indeed, and as a former script editor has written, Clarkson was almost obsessively detail-oriented in his scripts, working into the night and “happy to spend 40 minutes arguing whether ‘raspberries’ was a funnier word than ‘hat.’”

In contrast, the writing on the Evans-fronted incarnation was so iffy that Danny Baker tried to deny he had done it – despite being named in the credits.

As if that wasn’t enough, there were reports that he and Matt LeBlanc were feuding behind the scenes, with the American apparently threatening to walk if Evans didn’t.

Presumably not that fussed about any non-disparagement clauses in his contract with his former employers, Clarkson also put the boot into the working culture of the BBC.

“When you send Amazon a film, their television people in Los Angeles ring up and squeak with joy. What you never get at the BBC is that - ever," he said, presumably mindful of his American bosses.

"Because if somebody was to say, 'That was a great thing that you've just done,'  particularly if they wrote it in an email, if it turned out to be controversial and the Daily Mail went berserk, they'd be on record as having liked it, and then what would happen?" he went on. "It's a terrible culture, and all of Britain suffers from it."

Asked about what lead to to the notorious “fracas" where Clarkson, irritated by catering issues, called producer Oisin Tymon a “lazy Irish c*nt” and punched him so hard he had to be taken to hospital, the notoriously bullish Clarkson appealed for sympathy.

"I was having a tricky year, and I was quite stressy," he said. "It was really hard. It was getting harder and harder to do that show, because it was getting bigger and bigger all the time. The problems were getting bigger and bigger, the lack of support was appalling, home life was difficult, they were very stressy times."

Should you want to hear more from Clarkson on Top Gear, controversy and more, we had the man himself talked us through some of the more colourful quotes of his career. And something tells us there’s plenty more to come.

The Grand Tour is available on Amazon Prime from 18 November

 

[Images: Rex]

Related

Jeremy Clarkson.jpg

An oral history of Jeremy Clarkson according to Jeremy Clarkson

clarkson.jpg

What Jeremy Clarkson’s popularity says about all of us

attenborough.jpg

Sir David Attenborough has his say on Brexit, Bake Off and Clarkson

Comments

More

The teaser trailer for House of Cards Season 5 is eerily dystopian

What kind of America are we going to find?

by Dave Fawbert
23 Jan 2017

Aziz Ansari nails Trump in a perfect SNL monologue

"Change doesn’t come from presidents. Change comes from large groups of angry people"

by Emily Badiozzaman
23 Jan 2017

Revealed: the truth behind Netflix's The OA

Still don't get it? We got a NDE expert to explain the facts

by Jamie Carson
18 Jan 2017

Why Rick & Morty is the best cartoon in decades

Move over, Bojack. In your face, Griffin. Don't get us started on The Simpsons...

by Jamie Carson
18 Jan 2017

There’s a remake of White Men Can’t Jump on the way

And the producers actually can jump

by Emily Badiozzaman
18 Jan 2017

Watch Rupert Grint star in new Snatch TV series

He's a long way from Hogwarts

by Emily Badiozzaman
18 Jan 2017

Peaky Blinders creator reveals how the show will end

If Tommy dies there will be riots

by Jamie Carson
18 Jan 2017

The Simpsons have created a rap dramedy called “The Great Phatsby”

Starring Snoop Dogg, Common and RZA

by Emily Badiozzaman
17 Jan 2017

There's a real possibility there will be a Game of Thrones prequel

To help us handle life without the original

by Emily Badiozzaman
17 Jan 2017

This is why you're waiting so long for Rick & Morty season 3

The show's creator reveals what's been holding back the new season

by Jamie Carson
17 Jan 2017