Jeremy Clarkson’s career stands upon the edge of a cliff; one false move and everything could fall. The 54 year old presenter has had his share of controversies over the years, from unpleasant comments to unnecessary actions. His recent dilemma involves his “fracas” with a fellow Top Gear producer over catering. This has resulted in his suspension and what is likely, in his eyes, his eventual sacking. His place of employment has divided the nation over social media. Some see his actions as forgivable, starting a petition which has reached over a million signatures. Others however have seen this action as one too far, and express his sacking as a blessing to the BBC. With his career in the hands of the Director General, many wonder what decision Tony Hall will take: Keeping Clarkson? Sacking Clarkson? Ending Top Gear?
According to an article in the Guardian in 2010, Mark Sweeney revealed that Top Gear was responsible for generating the most revenue internationally for BBC Worldwide, earning over £200 million in revenue and £40 million in profits. Its likely that the numbers have gone up over the years as Top Gear has sold to more countries, thereby boosting its own international ratings, and likely revenue too. Additionally, Clarkson would be a key factor to that increase. His sacking would therefore lead to a disinterest in the brand, and therefore a loss in extra profits around the world.
Top Gear is one of BBC2’s highest rated shows all year round. Ranking up to over 5 million viewers an episode, its no wonder why the BBC are hesitant to dump the show when it does so well on a secondary channel on a regular basis. One has to wonder how much of that rating will disappear if Clarkson is gone, yet the brand remains.
If Clarkson goes, yet Top Gear remains, the show would undergo an exhausting revamp to keep the show going. Things won’t help as Richard Hammond and James May have vowed to quit the show if Clarkson is sacked. Revamping a show isn’t easy, and it will prove incredibly tough as Top Gear is an established brand with millions of fans around the world. A revamp won’t be easy to do, and even harder to be a success.
1. His Behaviour
Jeremy Clarkson has always been in the tabloids for all the wrong reasons. Just last year, he went through controversy for his use of the N-word during a Top Gear special. The clip was leaked online which wasn’t apart of the edited special, yet it put Clarkson in hot water none the less. He’s made comments in the past that has landed Ofcom with a mass of complaints and painted himself a bad image within the British and international press.
2. His Influence
Throughout the time Clarkson has been with the BBC, he has managed to hold a lot of influence over the tone and shape of the current Top Gear format. He earns millions of pounds a year, and writes a weekly column in a major British newspaper. He also has powerful connections with politicians and media moguls around the world. Because of this, Clarkson has a fair share of influence in the BBC, but only when he isn’t in hot water.
3. The Reaction To His Words
Yes, people hate Clarkson. Yes, newspapers hate him. And yes, people in the BBC hate him. Over the years, his remarks and actions have slowly drawn in backlash and tarnished his reputation piece by piece. Just how much more can he say before most of the nation’s stomachs twist and turn too much. Clarkson will always have fans, but what matters is how big that fan base is? As well as how big string his haters are, and will they get any bigger if he stays?
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