I am a HUGE Top Gear fan. I think the programme is hosted by witty, entertaining people and that have the right mix of enthusiasm for what they do, love of what they talk about and entertainment value for the masses.
True, the show has deviated somewhat from its initial birth of a “motoring show” to a more “entertainment show involving fast cars”. Which is just fine for me. If I want motoring for the car enthusiast, I’ll switch over to Fifth Gear. I want to see a Ferrari race against a plane from the south of France to London. I want to see caravans get blown up. I want to see epic journey’s across the north pole in a sup’d-up-pick-up truck while they flaunt the fact there are no drink-drive laws there to stop them partaking in a G&T while crashing through an iceberg.
One of the things I truly love about this show though, is the tongue in cheek approach they have to many things. Take for example, the episode featuring the reliant robin. Genius. Poked fun at it, at the drivers and the image of the vehicle, without being overly insulting to something that, thanks to Del Boy, is a national icon.
So when electric sports car company Tesla gave their new baby to the Top Gear boys to review, I honestly thought them to be a tad fool hardy. This show is world-renowned. It is run, produced and hosted by petrol heads. They are going to start off being slightly against an electrical car in any case. Couple that with their general approach to reviewing things (eg. Reliant Robin), I thought Tesla might have expected a few little digs. And to be honest, they got it! The show was broadcast back in December 2008, so why they have left it sooooo long to object is beyond me (publicity I’m guessing).
But things seem to be hotting up now. Generally, the BBC don’t tend to make a big song and dance about legal action. Lets look at the Mexico incident a few months back, where the Top Gear presents (pattern emerging here?) insulted a Mexican car and therefore the Mexican people. The ambassador for Mexico kicked off, but the Beeb coolly dealt with it. This case, however, Tesla seem determined to keep in the public eye (again, publicity purposes?). I found this response from the Executive Producer of Top Gear, Mr. Andy Willman.
So it seems Aunty is showing a little fighting spirit. I think they should win. Tesla will get the publicity for its Scalextric car and we can all go on with our viewing pleasure of one of the greatest shows: Top Gear.