Jeremy Clarkson Made his Last Lap At Top Gear Test Track
It is, officially, the end of an era. Not "official" in the sense that the BBC has announced Jeremy Clarkson is forever gone, but in Clarkson’s own announcement on Twitter of having completed his last lap of the Top Gear test track. After finally recieving word of his firing from the BBC, Clarkson arranged a last lap of the track — and auctioned off the passenger seat for charity. Fair warning: Direct quotes from Clarkson ahead. If you’ve got a problem with F-bombs, now’s the time to seek shelter.
Ed’s note: In the interest of decency, we will paraphrase the F-bombs. But far be it from us to hinder Jeremy’s inimitable style, so in the interest of accuracy, you’ll see where they all went.
Jeremy participated in a press conference before the event, held to raise money for Roundhouse Arts in Camden. What followed was a British curse-fest worthy of The Long Good Friday, directed almost exclusively at his former employers. "I didn’t foresee my sacking but I would like to do one last lap. So I’ll go down to Surrey and I’ll do one last lap of that track before the (F-bombing) bastards sack me." He added afterward "I’ll be a bit tearful when I do it, but (F-bomb) it, let’s do it."
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Why it matters
"There was an 18-year waiting list to be in the audience of Top Gear, but the BBC has (F-bombed) themselves. It was a great show and they’ve (F-bombed) it up. Tonight’s the night when you have the opportunity." Doesn’t that pretty much sum up how we all feel? The "opportunity" in question went to the bidders of the charity auction, who fought viciously to ride shotgun with Clarkson for his last trip around the TG track the next day. At the time, Jeremy wasn’t entirely sure what he’d be driving, since the car was to be provided by the "(F-bombing) (folks of questionable parentage)" who’d fired him.
"I’ll drive somebody around in whatever I can get hold of. I’m sacked so it’s probably an Austin Maestro. So who knows? But anyway it will be my last ever lap of the Top Gear track."
But, fortunately for all involved, the BBC provided a choice of three cars for Clarkson to take on his last lap. Say what you will about the Beeb, but when somebody spends 100,000 pounds for a seat, they’re at least willing to provide a good one. That’s right — the auction winner paid a hundred grand to tag along on Clarkson’s Last Ride. Clarkson Tweeted that morning:
He didn’t say which of the three cars he chose, but race driver Mario Franchitti Tweeted this picture out later in the day:
Obviously, that’s none of the three cars in Clarkson’s picture. At a guess, it looks like the interior of a Volvo XC90, possibly one of the film crew vehicles, or Clarkson’s own car. Hard to say. But that’s an awfully huge sunroof for a crew car. Likely, this was a warm-up lap prior to the actual one in one of the supercars pictured. Again, word’s not out yet on exactly which one Jeremy chose, but we can probably make a pretty educated guess based on his Tweets afterward:
Got it yet?
It was the Merc. Of course, it was the Merc.
Can you imagine Jeremy Clarkson doing "the (Mom F-bomber) of all tailslides" in anything else?
But all that aside, this is a sad day for Top Gear fans worldwide. Well, most of them. For at least one, it’s been pretty fantastic. Frequent TG guest Chris Evans has been teased for a while as the anchor for the now Clarkson/Hammond/May-less Top Gear. He’s now confirmed that he will in fact be filling the seat on a hugely revamped show. Which is kind of a shame for him. Chris always seemed like such a nice guy, and a genuine gearhead — too bad he’s soon to become the single most hated person in automotive entertainment. Nobody wins them all.
So, the real question at this point is...how does The Stig feel about all of this?
The Boys will almost certainly land on their feet in greener pastures, though. It’s looking increasingly likely that they’re going to sign on with Netflix, and remake Top Gear in Clarkson’s image.
That’s hardly a step down from the BBC, either. As most people who have had the internet for the last five years know, Netflix is at least as big an outfit as the BBC. And will probably explode to eclipse 21 Century Fox if it manages to snag even 10 percent of Top Gear’s former billion-strong worldwide audience.
So, the real question at this point is...how does The Stig feel about all of this? Some say he speaks only R2D2 language while conveying emotional distress. Some say he showed up at the BBC’s London headquarters, with a million-strong petition to bring Clarkson back. All we know is...he did it in a tank.