Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Diplomatic scandals from Top Gear's kitchen!

Top Gear trio raced with an aircraft, went to France with a tank, blew "Yugo" ... Now they have insulted Mexicans, and fled from robbery in Albania with Zastava 101.

It is known that international scandals usually occur because of spy affairs. But even TV shows can cause them. And that exactly happened with a mega popular show Top Gear, which deals with the world of motor vehicles.

Hosts of this high-octane show have fueled Mexico by not sparing the dictionary of political incorrectness. The famous and nutty trio of Top Gear predicted that Mexican sports car Mastretta was going to be like Mexicans, "a lazy, feckless and flatulent oaf with a moustache, leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat".

Ambassador of Mexico in London, Eduardo Medina-Mora, reacted immediately, protesting that his country was described as "lazy and irresponsible”. BBC apologized, but the stars of Top Gear didn’t. Their unofficial boss, Jeremy Clarkson, said that Mexicans have no sense of humor. He added that "Mexico doesn’t participate in the Olympics because everyone who can run, jump and swim has already crossed the border", referring to illegal immigrants who are fleeing to the United States.

Almost immediately after that, stellar trio "dived" into another international excess. While shooting in Albania, they called this land a nest of mafia car thieves. However, Albanians didn’t react.

In the same show, Serbia was also “scratched” through Zastava 101. Hosts of Top Gear staged a bank robbery, after which Clarkson escapes from police in a Mercedes, Hammond in Rolls Royce while May is left in the lurch and stack with "Zastava 101", which happens to have Kosovo plates. Otherwise, this was not the first appearance of the Serbian car. Yugo 45 was Clarkson’s target in one show, which he destroyed with a tank, and before that, he tested it, proving that even cyclists can be faster than "Yugo”.

For years now, Top Gear is world’s best show about motor vehicles, and its not watched only by those who are interested in four-wheelers. Since 40 percent of their audience are women, this form has shown that shows about motor vehicles can be interesting and to the broadest range of viewers.

Top Gear trio, which consists of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, is known for original ideas. In the show about Romania, they raced in Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Ferrari through the poorest parts of that country. They raced with the French fast train in Aston Martin. They even put a nun to drive a monster truck. They had raced with planes and helicopters, and they even landed with parachute into a moving car. The favorite part of the show is the one where celebrities participate. They drive laps on the racetrack in the car assigned to them, and are trying to break a record of their predecessors.

Of course, everything that is worth, costs a lot. Top Gear’s annual budget is around 46.5 million euros! It also includes salaries, which are annually around 14 million. Since they are making 20 episodes per year, it means that each episode costs an average of 1.6 million euros. These figures have leaked from BBC and the producers have never publicly disclosed the actual costs.

Top Gear is for years the most watched show on BBC and has about 350 million viewers worldwide. Of course, the backbone of this TV show is the mentioned trio.

Jeremy Clarkson

Head of Top Gear is accused of homophobia, sexism, racism, and he is often labeled as an ultra-rightist. He started as a salesman selling toys, but soon he abandoned that job. His television career began in 1989, in the 10th season of Top Gear. Besides the popularity and nasty labels, in his career he managed to receive and honorary doctorate from Oxford University. Clarkson has caused many scandals with his behavior. The most famous one is when he made disparaging remarks aimed at Gordon Brown, in February 2009, calling him a "one-eyed Scottish idiot" and accused him of lying.

James May

The second member of this crew is known for reaching a speed of 417.6 km/h with Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (the fastest road-legal car in the world). Also, he made a successful visit to the North Pole and, along with his friends, he became one of the first persons who came to the freezing point by car. His education has nothing to do with motor vehicles. James May studied music at Lancaster University.

Richard Hammond

The youngest member of this trio. After graduating, he started working for BBC where his first job was reading an ad for the sale of sheep, on the radio. He later went to work as a PR for Ferrari and Renault. In September 2006, while shooting an episode for the show, he was driving a car at the speed of 464 km/h. During the ride, a tire on the front right wheel broke, and he hit the ground with his head. It was a true miracle that he survived because, at the time of the accident, he was moving at a speed of 373 km/h.

The Stig mystery - Phantom in the white is Ben Collins.

Stig is the fourth and unidentified character in the show. He always appeared with a helmet, hiding his identity. Mystery over the identity of Stig lasted seven years. Speculations about the true identity of white phantom have been a hot topic of the media, who brought news that Michael Schumacher, and even actor Roan Atkinson, is hiding behind the Stig's helmet. But then it was discovered that Stig is a stunt and rally driver Ben Collins, who dubbed in the James Bond films.

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