Wednesday, 23 March 2016

'Ill-judged' - the latest Top Gear fiasco

'Ill-judged' is one of those marvellous phrases of understatement.

I follow Very British Problems on social media, and they are forever coming up with such sayings, complete with translation - for example 'it didn't quite go according to plan' actually means 'it completely failed in every conceivable way'.

So, when I say that I think the latest round of Top Gear stunts, complete with performing 'donuts' near to the Cenotaph and outside St Paul's Cathedral was ill-judged, what I'm actually meaning is 'how appalling, have you taken leave of your senses?'

Now I like cars, I like Chris Evans, I even liked Matt Le Blanc on Friends, but I cannot defend this in any way.

When people start saying things like 'even Jeremy Clarkson wouldn't have stooped so low', you know you've got a huge problem - Jezza of course having a history of causing such major offence he was stoned in Argentina (in the Biblical sense, not the modern meaning).

I'd seen the footage of the car outside St Paul's Cathedral, just as the bride and groom were standing on the steps having photographs taken.

Again, as much as I like cars, even I wouldn't have wanted them to gatecrash my big day in such a noisy, vulgar manner.  Fortunately it transpires that this was staged by actors, so no wedding was harmed during filming.

But the Cenotaph footage was a stunt too far.  Yes, I've seen the arguments that it was all down to camera angles, and that the car wasn't that close, but even so, it was disrespectful.

Fortunately, Chris Evans was swift to comment, condemn and assure that the footage shot would not be used in the show.

Cynics will be musing that this was all a publicity stunt, trying to attract attention to the new show and divert us away from Clarkson, May and Hammond.

Maybe so, but in my mind this incident has reminded us that there is such a thing as bad publicity. 

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