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Jeremy Clarkson on his bike in every sense - but who should replace him?

Top Gear presenter out of job for a day and already cycling around London ... and on that bombshell ...

Jeremy Clarkson’s only been out of the Top Gear job for one day – and already he’s popped up on TV riding a bike. And he’s also been offered a presenting gig – by online cycling goods retailer, Chain Reaction Cycles.

Wherever Clarkson ends up, he’ll presumably end up earning more than if he took up the Northern Ireland-based firm’s offer for him to co-host its fortnightly online magazine programme, The Hub Show, alongside existing presenter Matt Cole.

“We’ve been looking for a co-presenter who would go the extra mile and really add a punch to the show,” said the retailer’s marketing director, Neil Morris.

“I realise that he’s not always been a big fan of cycling and cyclists, but we all thought that he might be up for taking a different look at a different mode of transport, whilst moving his career up a gear.”  

The company says: “If he agrees to attend, he’ll be facing questions about his interest in cycling, his empathy for cyclists and the issues he feels are most relevant to the world of cycling.”

He has been invited in for a screen test and interview next Wednesday – which is of course 1 April for anyone paying attention. Apparently his team has yet to respond about the offer.

If any of the assembled reporters pointed out that – to use his own words – someone pedaling a bike should “work harder – get a car,” it didn’t make it onto this report.

Meanwhile, Clarkson was filmed by BBC News today rolling up at his West London address on a bike, to find himself being doorstepped by the press.

The Top Gear presenter was effectively sacked by the BBC yesterday when it said it would not be renewing his contract following the well-publicised ‘fracas’ involving producer Oison Tymon.

Yesterday, BBC director-general Tony Hall described the corporation as “a broad church,” and said “our strength in many ways lies in that diversity.” He continued: “We need distinctive and different voices but they cannot come at any price.”

Hall said Tymon was “a completely innocent party” and that he “took himself to Accident and Emergency after a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature.”

The BBC has said that it will co-operate with police in their investigation of the incident, which happened in a hotel in North Yorkshire.

Hall acknowledged that the decision to let Clarkson go would “divide opinion” – much like the presenter himself, appropriately.

Throughout his time presenting Top Gear, as well as in his columns for The Sunday Times, Clarkson has regularly taken aim at people on bikes – though some might say that being talked about, even negatively, is better than not being talked about at all.

An edition of the TV show last year saw Clarkson and co-presenter James May take to the streets of London on bicycles as they came up with ideas for cycle safety films.

Many saw that as trivialising or even mocking the issue – although in the comments to our story on it, others said that as a light entertainment show, and one that takes a satirical approach, the progamme was no more than should be expected and people shouldn’t be so quick to take offence.

Elsewhere, Clarkson has shown himself to be surprisingly sympathetic to cycling – in a column for The Sunday Times several years ago, he said he would move to Copenhagen “in a heartbeat” due to the way prioritising bikes over cars had made the Danish capital such a pleasant place to live.

However, that Clarkson has given offence to people from a huge variety of backgrounds over the years is undoubted – indeed, when the latest scandal broke, several national newspapers listed example after example of times he has upset various individuals or groups.

The fact remains though that Top Gear is the BBC’s most successful show worldwide by some margin, and that it won’t be the same show without Clarkson, who one imagines will be recruited by a rival broadcaster for a programme in a similar vein.

But if the show does continue on BBC, who would you like to see replace him? Sir Chris Hoy’s into fast cars and could also fight the cyclist’s corner, while another name being championed on social media in recent days is that of Guy Martin – no slouch on two wheels, powered or otherwise.

Meanwhile there is a petition to see the Steve Coogan character Alan Partridge – someone known to have ended shows with the same “and on that bombshell …” line used by Clarkson – get the gig.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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53 comments

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Daclu Trelub | 8 years ago
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I look forward to the return of TG 1978, with William Woollard praising the boot space of the Metro and those snazzy brown seats.
It was utterly dire back then, but its later re-incarnation became just as dire in its own way.
Nothing remains the same, everything changes, so it's Goodbye Jeremy and time to usher in something bright, fresh and pointless for the masses, that will, in its turn earn shedloads for someone and sooner or later become dull, tedious and banal.

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Martin1857 | 8 years ago
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I vote for Sabine Schmitt from the German version TG.

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Stumps | 8 years ago
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Love the programme and JC is fab, blatantly obvious he's not everyones choice but like Armstrong some like him some dont.

Rumour is already spreading that the other 2 are away as well with Sky looking to bring them all together in a new programme. Hope it works but if you dont like Top Gear dont watch it, its as simple as that. I hate Eastenders with a passion so i dont watch it whereas millions of others do, just like Top Gear.

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PonteD | 8 years ago
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TBH I'm getting a little tired of the current Top Gear format, it's just turned into the same repetitive idiotic mayhem series after series. Mostly them driving around an airfield in fast expensive cars interspersed with three old men acting like a bunch of clueless University students on a road trip to Europe. I can't say I've gone out of my way to watch the latest series it's all become so repetitive.

Personally I think this show should now be canned or totally reinvented to put JC behind them. Has anyone seen Top Gear USA? It's not as bad as the U.S. version of the Inbetweeners, but it's not far off. This is what Top Gear is in danger of becoming once JC goes. Saying that, it's a shame they couldn't get Guy Martin, getting three presenters who are all keen motorcyclists could take the show in a whole new direction.

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henrypurcell | 8 years ago
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Clarkson - good riddance.

I suspect he did it deliberately to get sacked - so he can work for Sky and be paid more without his "fans" accusing him of greed.

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The _Kaner | 8 years ago
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I prefer 5th Gear...at least there is some practicality in the reviews and they cover real life affordable cars...sometimes...and 'they' are not Clarkson...the buffoon...

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philtregear | 8 years ago
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i find top gear an utterly pathetic show. it amazes me that it is so popular. of the 3 presenters i do like some of the shows the long haired one does , though they are usually a bit thin on content and padded out with similar inane stunts as TG uses. May be I am missing the post liberal irony or something, but i just find the show boring and tedious. perhaps a revamp with someone like guy martin would inject both real drama and real humour, as opposed to the contrived belly laughs of the current show. i will certainly give it a try in the hope of finding something better than the current yawn.

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Andrewbanshee | 8 years ago
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Don't think I will bother with chain reaction anymore then.

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userfriendly replied to Andrewbanshee | 8 years ago
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Andrewbanshee wrote:

Don't think I will bother with chain reaction anymore then.

They were having a laugh at him. Read the marketing guy's line again.

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mike the bike | 8 years ago
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It seems to me the BBC missed an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Accepting that Clarkson was guilty but talented, they should have kept him on but sacked the little one, who was innocent but deeply annoying, as an example to others. Job jobbed.

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stealth | 8 years ago
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Top Gear existed before Clarkson & Wilman re-invented it. It will now be given a thorough revamp (god knows it needs one), it'll be back on air....

The BBC own the name Top Gear...

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portec replied to stealth | 8 years ago
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stealth wrote:

Top Gear existed before Clarkson & Wilman re-invented it. It will now be given a thorough revamp (god knows it needs one), it'll be back on air....

The BBC own the name Top Gear...

True, that. It started in 1987 I believe and was one of the top-rating shows on the BBC (sometimes THE top-rating show) before Clarkson joined.

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BigglesMeister replied to stealth | 8 years ago
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stealth wrote:

Top Gear existed before Clarkson & Wilman re-invented it. It will now be given a thorough revamp (god knows it needs one), it'll be back on air....

The BBC own the name Top Gear...

Yep, the Beeb bought the rights to the current variant of TG from Clarkson & Wilman using a sh*t load of license payers swag!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9571854/Jeremy-Clarkso...

Nice work if you can get it!

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userfriendly | 8 years ago
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Quote:

“We’ve been looking for a co-presenter who would go the extra mile and really add a punch to the show,” said the retailer’s marketing director, Neil Morris.

I can't believe there are 36 comments already and not one has picked up on that little gem there.  3

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Jacobi | 8 years ago
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Strange country we live in when it comes to being moralistic.

BBC presenters abuse children and adolescents. The BBC turn a blind eye. The abuse is covered up and the abuse of children and adolescents goes on for years while the abusers are continually employed by and protected by the BBC. The public is shocked at the sickening revelations, tut-tut about it for a while and then it's forgotten about.

A BBC presenter allegedly bullies and assaults a BBC employee, there is no cover-up and the presenter is not protected by the BBC. It is reported that the presenter has been sacked for misconduct. The public are shocked at this revelation and a million people immediately cancel their TV licences in indignation at the BBC's treatment of the offender.

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Leviathan replied to Jacobi | 8 years ago
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Jacobi wrote:

Strange country we live in when it comes to being moralistic.

BBC presenters abuse children and adolescents. The BBC turn a blind eye. The abuse is covered up and the abuse of children and adolescents goes on for years while the abusers are continually employed by and protected by the BBC. The public is shocked at the sickening revelations, tut-tut about it for a while and then it's forgotten about.

A BBC presenter allegedly bullies and assaults a BBC employee, there is no cover-up and the presenter is not protected by the BBC. It is reported that the presenter has been sacked for misconduct. The public are shocked at this revelation and a million people immediately cancel their TV licences in indignation at the BBC's treatment of the offender.

The only reason you would confuse these two cases is to smear the BBC today. What happened in the 60s, 70s and perhaps 80s has nothing to do with the treatment of Clarkson today. I hardly think we have 'forgotten about' child abuse. Please stow your hyperbole and get back to the topic.

+1 for Chris Evans

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Jacobi replied to Leviathan | 8 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:
Jacobi wrote:

Strange country we live in when it comes to being moralistic.

BBC presenters abuse children and adolescents. The BBC turn a blind eye. The abuse is covered up and the abuse of children and adolescents goes on for years while the abusers are continually employed by and protected by the BBC. The public is shocked at the sickening revelations, tut-tut about it for a while and then it's forgotten about.

A BBC presenter allegedly bullies and assaults a BBC employee, there is no cover-up and the presenter is not protected by the BBC. It is reported that the presenter has been sacked for misconduct. The public are shocked at this revelation and a million people immediately cancel their TV licences in indignation at the BBC's treatment of the offender.

The only reason you would confuse these two cases is to smear the BBC today. What happened in the 60s, 70s and perhaps 80s has nothing to do with the treatment of Clarkson today. I hardly think we have 'forgotten about' child abuse. Please stow your hyperbole and get back to the topic.

+1 for Chris Evans

You obviously missed my point. It has nothing to do with smearing the BBC. It is to do with the attitudes of some of our fellow countrymen/women and how they reacted differently to these two cases. In the first case, many condemned the BBC for not taking action. In the second case, many have condemned the BBC for taking action. Personally, I couldn't care less who takes over from JC. TG will never be the same again.

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Simmo72 | 8 years ago
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It is a shame. Whilst the format was repetitive and contrived, there were very funny moments on top gear, and despite his failings Clarkson is a talented presenter, not just top gear, but other programmes like the St Nazaire Raid. But if you punch someone in this day and age, you pay the price so the BBC had no option.

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Zebra | 8 years ago
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Mark Webber - drives, rides, knows what it is like to be hit whilst riding, and to crash whilst driving for that matter. Has already been on TG twice.

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earth | 8 years ago
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I guess he is living his 'Work harder get a car' rhetoric.

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cat1commuter | 8 years ago
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Saddle definitely too low.

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Paul J | 8 years ago
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Top Gear keeps your licence fee down? What bollocks. Some people around the BBC love to bring this up, but that's because Top Gear and how the private-company-mostly-owned-by-BBC way it's production is structured is how people in and around the BBC get to skim off public money and send large amounts of it into private pockets.

E.g. Top Gear and its £40m a year, keeps getting spun as a significant source of revenue for BBC. Except that's bollocks, it's only significant for BBC *World* - the wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the BBC. BBC World in total only generates about £130m in profit for the BBC.

That £40m from Top Gear, and the £130m from BBC World is trivial, not even peanuts compared to the £4.3bn odd the BBC gets from the licence payer. Top Gear is only about 1% of the licence fee. BBC World is only about 3%.

So why does the BBC like to make these things seem so much more valuable? Well, as mentioned, Top-Gear-like production companies let execs and talent around the BBC cream off *your* money. Perhaps also because the BBC is worried that one day the licence fee will be gone, and it is keen to build up its commercial operations before then - using *your* money, while it is still available!

Note: BBC World in total generates just over £1bn of revenue (inc. revenue from greater BBC for stuff BBC World produced for the BBC). Much of that money gets spent again in the TV industry and things around it. This is also of great value to people in the BBC and colleagues in the industry around it, of course. However, from a licence fee payer value argument, the amount that matters is more the £130m one.

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Ush replied to Paul J | 8 years ago
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Paul J wrote:

That £40m from Top Gear, and the £130m from BBC World is trivial, not even peanuts compared to the £4.3bn odd the BBC gets from the licence payer. Top Gear is only about 1% of the licence fee. BBC World is only about 3%.

So why does the BBC like to make these things seem so much more valuable? Well, as mentioned, Top-Gear-like production companies let execs and talent around the BBC cream off *your* money. Perhaps also because the BBC is worried that one day the licence fee will be gone, and it is keen to build up its commercial operations before then - using *your* money, while it is still available!

That puts it firmly in perspective. In addition Top Gear existed before this boring turd was on the show. He's like the horrible offspring of Stephen Fry and Nigel Farage. A hackneyed establishment entertainer waved in front of the dim-witted plebs to keep them buying cars and voting for Christmas.

Massively disappointed that the producer did not press charges. I can guess why but I would imagine it is not the first time and will not be the last time that Clarkson batters someone.

Also, love that Stewart Lee bit.

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a.jumper | 8 years ago
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Shouldn't Guy Martin be serving a points driving ban by now? That alone may make him too toxic for the BBC

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Natrix replied to a.jumper | 8 years ago
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a.jumper wrote:

Shouldn't Guy Martin be serving a points driving ban by now?

Why? Do you have any basis for this accusation or are you just trying to start a rumour??

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dicko99 replied to Natrix | 8 years ago
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Maybe a.jumper doesn't realise that Guy's road racing takes place on closed roads?  3

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bikebot replied to Natrix | 8 years ago
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Natrix wrote:
a.jumper wrote:

Shouldn't Guy Martin be serving a points driving ban by now?

Why? Do you have any basis for this accusation or are you just trying to start a rumour??

In Guy's own words, interviewed for the Sunday Times. But I still like the chap.

Quote:

I love risking my life, but to get the buzz on a bike on public roads I’d need to be doing 180mph. You can’t, and I wouldn’t want to. I’ve got 21 points on my licence. I just keep getting caught in the van. I was in court recently. The judge asked me if it would affect my living if I couldn’t drive. I said, ‘I race motorbikes, I race mountain bikes and I go to work, and if I can’t drive, I can’t do any of them.’ He gave me three points and let me keep my licence.

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Natrix replied to bikebot | 8 years ago
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bikebot wrote:
Natrix wrote:
a.jumper wrote:

Shouldn't Guy Martin be serving a points driving ban by now?

Why? Do you have any basis for this accusation or are you just trying to start a rumour??

In Guy's own words, interviewed for the Sunday Times. But I still like the chap.

Quote:

blah blah... The judge ......... let me keep my licence.

No reason for him to be serving a ban, as you quoted yourself, the judge let him keep his license.

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bikebot replied to Natrix | 8 years ago
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Natrix wrote:
bikebot wrote:
Natrix wrote:
a.jumper wrote:

Shouldn't Guy Martin be serving a points driving ban by now?

Why? Do you have any basis for this accusation or are you just trying to start a rumour??

In Guy's own words, interviewed for the Sunday Times. But I still like the chap.

Quote:

blah blah... The judge ......... let me keep my licence.

No reason for him to be serving a ban, as you quoted yourself, the judge let him keep his license.

Whether it should be so easy to dodge a ban, is a whole different discussion. Only about half those reaching 12 points lose their license.

The thing about Guy, (from the interviews I've read) is that he has a very responsible attitude to speed. Take it to the race track. However, it appears the judge excused him on the grounds that he needed a license for his work rather than his responsible attitude.

There's a whole load of dangerous drivers still on the road because of that excuse. Quite a few of them play football...

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Paul J | 8 years ago
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