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Friday, April 15, 2005

Michael Palin takes on the petrolheads

BBC Presenters Clash
One is a an outspoken, speed-loving presenter with a penchant for fast cars.The other is a gentle-humoured, travel journalist who enjoys nothing more than a ride on the back of a camel.

Now it seems Jeremy Clarkson and Michael Palin are about to meet head on. Palin is president of Transport 2000 which claims that Clarkson's BBC2 Top Gear series encourages irresponsible driving, promotes speeding and should be taken off air. Using Clarkson as a presenter with his distinctive image risks encouraging a yobbish attitude on the road, it adds, and glamorises speed.

It should be replaced by a programme that promotes sensible driving in greener cars, says the campaign group. Palin, a former Monty Python star, has a string of TV hits to his name including Himalaya, Sahara and Pole To Pole. Clarkson's Top Gear attracts 5million viewers a week. A spokesman for Palin's group said: "If we must have Jeremy Clarkson on TV, let's give him something useful to do such a trying out public transport or road-testing new bicycles." A BBC spokesman said Top Gear took safety very seriously adding: "None of the presenters advocates or encourages dangerous driving."

Update: Campaigners say scrap Top Gear and replace it with 'Third Gear' version promoting sensible driving
Transport 2000 campaigners called today for Top Gear to be taken off the BBC schedules and replaced with a new programme promoting “sensible driving in sensible vehicles”. It 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, but that it 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.

Transport 2000’s suggestion is for a new programme, perhaps called Third Gear, devoted to encouraging responsible motoring based on less environmentally damaging cars, considerate and safety-conscious driving, and exploration of alternatives to the car. The call comes as the BBC launches a consultation exercise inviting the views of the public on its future and its programmes.


  • Clarkson is definitely a candidate for a twunt of the week. He is an obnoxious man who does indeed encourage a sense of boorish "englishman's car is his castle" style mentality. One episode of top gear they joked about one car's ability to knock cyclists onto its roof.

    Top Gear does not encourage safe driving: most of the programme is based around discovering how fast cars can go. Good, educational, practical television, I think not.

    By Blogger Edward, at 8:30 pm, April 17, 2005  

  • i tried to find out how to make advertizers in canada be more responsible in their ad content ie. to curb their promotion of speed...........the red tape, is unbelievable

    By Blogger zammoo, at 2:00 am, December 24, 2005  

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