How to succeed Top Gear. Format ideas, presenters etc. (Assuming BBC wants to)

TopGearNorthAmerica

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Actually, here's a thought: let Clarkson continue on TG, but NOT as an on-screen presenter.
Have him be an executive producer like Wilman, let him write and come up with challenges, but let that company pick the on-screen talent for presentation.
Why wouldn't that work?
 

TopGearNorthAmerica

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Or ...

The Driver. The Expert. The Wrecker.

BBC Two Announcer: "New Faces. New Challenges. Same Old Cocking About.

"Top Gear ... has moved to America. Sundays on BBC Two."

And how many people will have aneurysms over that idea?
 

Drizzle

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Actually, here's a thought: let Clarkson continue on TG, but NOT as an on-screen presenter.
Have him be an executive producer like Wilman, let him write and come up with challenges, but let that company pick the on-screen talent for presentation.
Why wouldn't that work?
If you are serious, it's just silly. Clarkson has tremendous value on-screen. Whoever is working in the background is easily replaceble. Plenty of people who can do a similar job and hardly anyone will spot the difference.

If you move Clarkson to the background, you might as well remove/replace him altogether. There's just no point. There actually could be a point to having Clarkson on-screen, but having someone else with roughly similar humour script every single word he says. Clarkson would still deliver the lines in his own way and the public could still love it. However.. In practice, such a thing is unlikely to work because it removes every possiblity to blurt something out.
 

Ironlord

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I'm back. Five years away and I'm back, with an idea I've had spinning around in my head for a long time now, which always surfaces every time there's a "shock horror Top Gear is about to end" crisis. With that now all but a certainty, it's only fair that I share it with those who might be interested.

I've never stopped watching TG while I've been away from here - it's just that my patience was exhausted with the hyperbolic, highly polarised bickering afterwards with the "BEST EPISODE EVER!" and "WORST EPISODE EVER!" factions constantly duelling with each other after every single episode. There are some episodes that I enjoyed more than others - usually the epic road trips - and others that made me almost scream with horror at the TV at a wasted opportunity. Most of what sent me up the wall, though, was where TG's old mantra of "Ambitious But Rubbish" had stopped being "Ambitious, and we tried, we really did, but failed anyway due to circumstances beyond our control" and become "Ambitious and deliberately rubbish because hurr hurr funny derp de derp". At the moment, purely because I want to find one single Clarkson quote buried somewhere in the series (or maybe one of his videos...) I'm re-watching everything from start (by which I mean the Jason Dawe days) to finish. I'm up to series 12; I've already experienced the watch-it-through-your-fingers trainwreck that was the home-brew stretched limos, and I know that not far away is the worst of them all, the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust, or whatever it was they called it. It's as if they went into that with the pre-conceived idea that because the G-Wiz is a hateful heap of junk that is rightfully hated, then all electric cars are heaps of junk, and we're going to prove it by creating our own heap of junk that's deliberately as awful as possible because hurr hurr funny derp de derp. Even mocking vegetarians with the green Stig didn't help, which usually makes me jump out of my chair in celebration - not that time. And I found it so frustrating because they're all intelligent blokes - Jeremy in particular, he doesn't need to play up to this "I'm an orang-utan and I'm going to get a hammer and I'm going to wreck everything deliberately because hurr hurr funny derp de derp", because that's a dead-cert way to ensure that it isn't funny.

So we find ourselves in a situation where Jeremy no longer has a job at the BBC because he's been an orang-utan in real life, and the BBC are perceived as these quinoa-munching, Grauniad-reading, simpering lefties who spout Soviet propaganda that Pravda would be proud of - which is odd, because for every one person who says this I've encountered three or four of said quinoa-munching lefties who accuse the BBC of being a racist, right-wing propaganda machine who give UKIP all their airtime (so, on balance, I'd say if they're annoying both sides they they're doing their job properly - but that's a discussion for another day). The serious point is, we now have no Jeremy, and what he needs to do now is take a large step back, get his dodgy joints fixed, sort out the inevitable divorce, make sure he's still a proper dad to his kids even though they're all growing up fast and probably don't need him to be, and mourn the loss of his mother. (Of course, within the last month I've just seen her testing the Honda Jazz, Renault Modus and Peugeot 1007 alongside Mrs Hammond and Mrs May, utterly unaware she'd died last year. It's a lot less of a shock to realise that not all the grannies who were doing doughnuts in the Black Stig days are still with us.) And then, some time in 2016 when all this has blown over and he has hauled himself back from the looming spectre of a Charlie Sheen meltdown, sign for Sky or ITV and once again be the loudest car nut... IN THE WORLD!, with just a bit less of the oafish orang-utan behaviour. Quite a lot less, in fact.

Hamster could probably carry a few shows on his own... I doubt he'll slow down much. But if there's no Top Gear to make, he could take a bit of time off as well. Back when he had Oliver shipped back to the UK after the Africa Special, I had an idea, which I've recovered from another part of the forum (and was reminded, seeing as I've just been re-watching it!) - Hamster could write a children's book about "Travels With Oliver" in the style of Val Biro's Gumdrop books. Unfortunately, Val Biro died last year - he was 92 and hadn't written about Gumdrop in 13 years, but left a legacy of 37 books. If Hamster hasn't followed suit - and he has seven years more experience of TG road trips to draw on now than when I first mentioned it - now's the time to do it.

And this leaves us with James, who carries the can of my big idea.

I've always found him the most entertaining of the TG bunch outside the TG realm, if you see what I mean. I would never miss one of his series, even that "Things You Need To Know" that I already knew and was aimed at youngsters. I watched it purely because it was James May on the screen being informative, interested in what he was talking about sometimes to the point of obsession, and a bit eccentric (and I don't just mean his hair). The key to success here lies not just with Captain Slow himself, but with his chosen wingman from Man Lab and Toy Stories - Simeon Oakley. When he first appeared on the Scalextric episode of Toy Stories I recognised him immediately and knew exactly what he was capable of - and James mentioned his multiple appearances on Scrapheap Challenge while he was building the floating bridge across the lake.

I would commission James and Sim for a series called, maybe, "Ambitious and Successful", or "As You'd Expect, I've Done This Properly", or something like this that sounds a lot snappier but captures the essence of James actually doing it properly. Six to eight shows where TG challenges are revisited - anything from series 8 onwards, as that's the point where all three (but particularly Jeremy) started to play up to these pre-defined caricatures of themselves. (I have noticed James does sometimes do this on his own series, usually Toy Stories, it did sometimes grate on me but generally only when it was also grating on those he was working with - and any time Jeremy said "hurr hurr OCD hurr hurr Asperger's derp de derp" that was annoying, because it's unnecessary speculation on whether or not he actually has such conditions; I'd err on the side of caution.)

Most notably, surely, James and Sim can make an electric car work between them - not building it from scratch and making a hash of it, just take something small and light, rip the engine and fuel system out, replace with batteries and a suitably large motor, the end. Old Top Gear even showed it happening once - circa 1994/95 when an electric Citro?n AX and Peugeot 106 were shown in trial somewhere in France. So the result wouldn't be perfect, I know that as well as they would, but it'll be a hell of a lot better and a million times less embarrassing for all concerned than that Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust - and might even give G-Wiz apologists something to think about seriously. For any other revisited challenges, all I have to do is look in the TG book "Ambitious But Rubbish" and any number of those are perfect for James, Sim and anyone else they chose to get on their side to have another bash at. The cover of the book has James' caravan airship, which was a good idea with potential to work - but it didn't. It just needed (shut up, Jeremy) more power to get it out of trouble. (Note that I am emphatically not back here to start another discussion-meets-flame-war on "AAARGH TG IS SCRIPTED AAAARGH RANT FOAM FROTH" because, whether or not the script called for James to screw up and drift into restricted airspace or not, and I can't believe they would risk that with the authorities, I certainly perceived it as a genuine accident.) Likewise, the Hovervan could benefit from a bit of expertise and not having Jeremy deliberately being a thug - though I wouldn't have used a van, I'd have gone for a Mazda MX-5 (to make a hovercraft answer to a Gibbs Aquada). And, if James had a go driving it (is it still "driving" when it's on water?) he'd probably have been able to make it work the way it always should have been. And what of the "cheap car challenges"? For instance, how much better could James' ?950 GTV have fared if he hadn't had the other two constantly bumping into him and spreading cheese on the engine on his way to the concourse?

Of course, there are some challenges that might not work, or might not need a revisit. The motorhomes - it's probably not possible to do that properly without replicating exactly what Edd China did to a hearing-aid beige builder's van on Wheeler Dealers. The car-trains were done properly... almost (I liked James' idea of using a 4WD Audi, but I'd have gone with a diesel manual, not an S8; the less said about Hamster's antics the better, and we all knew Jeremy was going to be an oaf and shout "POWER!" anyway and have no idea not to use a rear-wheel-drive Jaguar that'd just spin the back wheels because hurr hurr funny derp de derp.) The amphibious cars have been done twice... and Jeremy's Nissank actually worked (in a setting where he was forced to take it seriously or they'd all have drowned...), so that doesn't need a third attempt.

I know I'm rambling slightly incoherently here as ideas come into my head. I've probably laboured the point too much. But those few of you who remember me from all that time in the past could confirm... that's what I do. It's what James does as well. And I genuinely believe this could work. It has James as the recognisable face of Top Gear, it has Sim with the technical knowledge and the ability to work wonders with only a few bits of scrap metal and a welding torch, and it doesn't have deliberate failure written into the script on indelible stone tablets. Yes, I know, James' Toy Stories challenges did fail occasionally, but it was never deliberate - and, in the case of the Hornby train, he picked himself up, dusted his idea down, had another go and second time round it worked.

To paraphrase the departed orang-utan: BBC, if you're watching, send a cheque.
 
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laxmax613

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I quickly wrote an oppo piece about this earlier today.

http://oppositelock.jalopnik.com/wh...m-should-go-next-1693688752?rev=1427320566214

tl;dr? Idris Elba, Rowan Atkinson, Jodie Kidd and Sabine Schmitz as Stig.

All are entertainers and car nuts. They are british and could be available to put together content that would be entertaining and deep enough. There's more to it than that, about how the petrolhead community needs a top-down injection of diversity, but read the article for my think piece crap.
 
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