“If you’ll excuse me, I very desperately have to write the eBay listing for my Ferrari,” James May told reporters outside his house, moments after having learned of his oft-partner-in-crime Jeremy Clarkson’s firing from the BBC’s Top Gear yesterday.
Truly, these are the words from a man who knows exactly how his bread is buttered. And to assuage any concerns, yes, I know Mr. May is kidding.
“It’s a tragedy. I am sorry what ought to have been a small incident, sorted out easy, turned into something big,” May added.
When prodded on whether he’ll remain with the program, which attracts anywhere from 250 to 500 million viewers worldwide each week, May said, “that will require a lot of careful thought.”
As May so eloquently pointed out, Top Gear existed before Clarkson, May, and Hammond took it over in 2002. And it will likely continue with or without them. There’s no denying, however, that the palpable chemistry that three brought to the show made it the global juggernaut that it is today.
I personally was inspired into my current career by watching the early days of Top Gear, more than 10 years ago. I am sad to see Clarkson go. That said, I understand the actions the BBC took. Like May said, “their hands were tied.”
If, like me, you’d like to soothe your jangled nerves and relive some of the greatest Top Gear moments during this tumultuous time, I encourage you to check out my list of the 10 Best Top Gear Episodes.
While all of the dust settles, please do as I have and encourage Clarkson to move to the U.S. and a proper American car show. After all, we Americans popularized the car-based lifestyle. So it stands to reason we ought to have the dominant car program on the planet.