Jeremy Clarkson has been released from the shackles of pre-watershed BBC programming and, as expected, it’s really fucking rude.
That’s right. The Grand Tour has been unleashed all over Amazon Prime and amid the bigotry and so-called banter, the TV show sticks two fingers up to the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Inevitably, Amazon had to go bigger, better and ruder – think South Park: Uncut – for The Grand Tour to be as successful as its predecessor Top Gear… And episode one, titled ‘The Holy Trinity’, does not disappoint at all.
Clarkson – to a crowd of screaming fans at the so-called Burning Van festival underneath the piercing blue skies of the High Desert in California – rejoices in saying:
It’s very unlikely I’m going to be fired now because we’re on the internet…
Which means I could pleasure a horse.
While the automotive journalist, best-selling author, TV personality and ‘shaved ape in a shirt’ fails to follow through on the horse-pleasuring, the team does manage to eschew sense and despicably insult both the travelling community and American gun law within the first ten minutes of the show… Which goes to show there are plenty more bigoted antics disguised as humour to behold on The Grand Tour.
So, without further ado, here are all of the unruly things that happened in the trio’s roaming tent – ranging from the racist to the tongue-in-cheek to the genuinely amusing – this week.
To kick things off, Clarkson offends the Prius-hating American audience and gives them an automotive vocabulary lesson.
Explaining the audience would be different each week, he said:
Point is, the view changes and so does the audience. This week, you’re all Americans… Now this is a bit of a problem for people like us who speak English.
We can converse perfectly well in a shop or a restaurant but when it comes to cars and motoring, every single word you use is different… When I say different, I mean wrong.
With the Anglo-American ‘Special Relationship’ looking tumultuous thanks to the current political climate, I’d imagine BBC bosses would rather Clarkson hadn’t said that if they were in charge.
Moving on, after the first segment, the Trinity were back in the studio and chewing the fat over motoring issues during a segment aptly titled ‘Conversation Street’.
The team demonstrated their artfully filmed intro segment to ‘Conversation Street’ – which perhaps, possibly plugs the British soap Coronation Street courtesy of BBC broadcasting rivals, ITV.
May then announced:
Rather brilliantly, we have made a bespoke version of that for every single episode we’re gonna make for the next three years.
The slight problem with that is we were so busy doing that, we didn’t think of anything to talk about in Conversation Street.
So instead, Clarkson revisits his favourite road gripe – cyclists.
Like, for example, why in Britain we have to drive 50mph when they’re doing roadworks to ‘protect the workforce’ which is never there…
And why fully grown adults have taken to riding around the city on children’s toys. They’re called bicycles.
For the eco-friendly BBC, I’m betting Clarkson’s put-down would’ve proved an HR nightmare ripe for the script pages of W1A.
Powering ahead, the next segment sees us visiting The Grand Tour‘s brand new and improved track. As Hammond points out, it’s complete with ‘trees, animals, moisture, elecricity, a house and an unexploded bomb’ from WW2.
Not sure that would’ve got past the BBC’s Workplace Health and Safety Regulations. Same goes for the car-testing facilities, named the ‘Ebola-Drome’, after that fatal illness that killed thousands… Appropriate.
Undoubtedly, this track is going to be far more adrenaline-pumping than the Top Gear track.
To add insult to injury, although the BBC have kept The Stig hostage – the tame race car driver format, brainchild of Clarkson, is part of the Top Gear brand – Hammond, Clarkson and May have enlisted the help of a NASCAR driver.
Amazon insisted that the racing driver in question should be from this side of the pond so we went to something called NASCAR and we found one and we shipped him to England… He’s called Mike Skinner but we know him simply as The American.
Turns out, Clarkson may have found a way to express his controversial views through the new racing driver, who apparently thinks ‘everything that isn’t American with a V8 is Communist.’
In a damning blow to the BBC, May proceeded to take the piss out of the BBC‘s ‘Star In A Reasonably Priced Car’ format.
It’s a shame really that we can’t take the track round the world with us, isn’t it?
Because if we did we could invite some celebrities to drive around in it maybe and we could keep a score sheet of who was the fastest…
Before his overgrown man playmates concluded that it definitely wouldn’t work. They went on to introduce their new format, titled ‘Celebrity Brain Crash’ which looks a little something like a parody of BBC staple, Mastermind.
The new format tests celebrities’ mental agility and response times with a machine based on the entrance requirements for the Royal Air Force.
Of course, Clarkson took the opportunity to create a mock-nationalistic-ruckus over the prowess of the British and American military.
The joke ended with a bloody-nosed and stubborn Clarkson backing down, in a strange nod to the violent dispute which ended his relationship with the BBC back in 2015.
Mock-violence was instantaneously followed by mock-death, when Jeremy Renner was seen to fall from the sky as he parachuted onto set with faulty equipment…
I’m sure there’s something in the BBC guidelines about not faking a celebrity guest’s death, before introducing the ‘back-up’ guest who then gets killed by a rattlesnake, before introducing Carol Vorderman who then dies, consequentially littering the set with ‘corpses’.
Although the stunts and the japes are perhaps a little staged and strained, even a simple to-camera show from a Wiltshire pub with Clarkson, Hammond and May would have been preferable to the tripe peddled out by Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc.
It looks like The Trifecta of controversial car programming have moved on from the BBC break-up quicker than Jimmy Carr could get round the old track.
While all right-minded viewers tire of the cheap, bigoted comments disguised as humour by the controversial Clarkson, The Grand Tour‘s new, unafraid and unrelenting format is a breath of fresh air in the safe landscape of factual television programming.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.