Blog Archives

My Thoughts: Top Gear 18×01 – 29 January 2012

(Just so you know, I’m not going to review every Top Gear episode, but I had strong enough opinions of this episode to warrant a My Thoughts blog.)


BACK FOR MORE: Jeremy Clarkson, as ever, began the show.

The first episode of this new, eighteenth series of Top Gear was to be, for many once-loyal fans (myself included), a make-or-break episode. Cock it up, and we’d lose interest and leave it to suffer a plunge in ratings.

The producers (to whom the TG brand is worth millions) and presenters knew this very real threat. Though part of a joke, Jeremy Clarkson made no secret of the controversy that’s followed the disastrous Christmas India special, opening the show in simple terms: “Now, even though this programme has taken a terrible battering in the newspapers in recent weeks, we have made every effort we possibly can to make sure this series is unaffected.”

Indeed, the preview tape looked similar to those of the old series, with beautiful photography, great co-presenter chemistry, and a wide range of upcoming films included. But as the first episode progressed, it became obvious that it was not all ‘same old same old’. In addition to the addition of a plinth in the studio for the Hammerhead-i Eagle Thrust from Series 14, there were far greater changes in programme feel.

In recent series (and most noticeably in that Christmas 2011 episode), the style of the main films has felt hideously patronising, where it seemed we were meant to fall for the blatantly-staged, unfunny ‘accidents’ (many of which, like the crude ‘Eat English Muff‘ and ‘Sh IT For Your Company‘ train stunts, were merely repeats of virtually identical stunts from previous series).

IN THE CAR ON THE TRACK: Hammond follows the camera car.

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Jamboree 2011: Cultural Festival Day – 4 August 2011

Although no formal activities had been scheduled for anybody on-site, there was still much to do ahead of the afternoon’s Festival of Culture. The event was designed to encourage Scouts to learn about the way of life of their foreign cousins, whilst displaying a sample of their own lives for people to come and visit.

ITALIANS DO IT BEST_Pasta, painted in Italian flag colours, on display at the Cultural Festival.

ITALIANS DO IT BEST: Pasta, painted in Italian flag colours, on display at the Cultural Festival.

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Happy Easter – 4 April 2010

Andrew Burdett wishes all of his readers a very happy Easter!

Easter Chicks I took skiing last April