Clarkson drove from UK to Verbier. Bad boy!
Petrolheads' favourite, Top Gear, has come under attack. As many PHers already know, the environmental group has called for Top Gear to be removed from the BBC's schedules andreplaced with "a new programme promoting sensible driving in sensible vehicles".
What fun that would be. Not.
Transport 2000 argues that, as a programme put out by a public service broadcaster, Top Gear should "be responsible, seek to educate and be in the public interest". It apparently "falls far short of these ideals and is in danger of promoting irresponsible driver behaviour and an obsession with big cars, while ignoring the interests of most women drivers."
Other accusations include yobbishness, responsibility and having too much fun. Er, we made that last one up.
Items the killjoy environmental group cites as the programme's sins include:
- Having to re-film a piece twice about the closure of Oxford High Street because of lack of balance
- Driving a 4x4 to the top of a Scottish mountain through a peat bog, which allegedly caused "substantial ecological damage".
- Jeremy Clarkson tearing up propaganda about the dangers of speed from Transport 2000’s Web site
- Jeremy Clarkson driving a Ferrari (see pic) from London to Switzerland -- he did it regardless of fatigue, and was stopped by police for speeding
- Jeremy Clarkson crashing a car into a tree to test the strength of the car which cost compensation to the local parish council for the damage.
T2K suggested alternative employment for Clarkson. "If we must have Jeremy Clarkson on the television, let's give him something useful to do, such as trying out public transport or road-testing new bicycles. Perhaps he would like to drive a bus; he'd find it just as much fun as a Ferrari," the group said.
In response, the BBC said that the programme has proved a smash hit, and is one of the broadcaster's most popular programmes. The BBC said, "None of the presenters advocate or encourage dangerous driving, and high performance cars are always tested in a controlled and safe environment."
"The programme regularly features discussions of issues across the whole gamut of motoring. It does review fast cars but it has also recently featured the new Smart car, as well as a series of items on restoring cars and a second-hand car challenge. To say Top Gear encourages just a macho or yobbish attitude simply isn't true."
"Half of its regular audience of three million viewers is women. A recent example [of discussing green issues] would be in December 2004, when an engine was featured that was half electric and half petrol powered."
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