Top Gear. A programme in search of a reason for change

For months (years?) I’ve been trying to think of an excuse to renew my blog. The longer I left it the harder a reason to restart and the weaker an excuse for stopping became.

(say this in a Jeremy Clarkson voice) Until now.

I’ve just watched Top Gear and suddenly it all makes sense. The analogy is all too clear. Months off, a change of direction, new content – my blog and the new Top Gear are (almost) one and the same.

Repackaging a media product and relaunching it when it was already a success was going to be a challenge. What do you keep? What do you change? Why did you stop? Why are you bothering to restart?  Who even cares?

Top Gear 2.0 has met with mixed reviews. Chris “I want to punch that ginger ferret” Evans* and Matt “Good looking but a little dull” LeBlanc** are pawns in a much bigger game. Squillions of pounds in distribution rights across 214 territories worldwide and an estimated global audience of 350 million makes TG the most widely watched factual television program in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Who wouldn’t want to try to anchor this programme for all that fun in so many countries not to mention all that dosh.

But you can’t make magic from a recipe. Magic is first the recipe and then a little something extra and although TG2.0’s audience stats are OK for a launch issue as Evans petulantly asserts, it is missing the little something extra. The magic in TG1.0 was that each week Clarkson dished it out and Hammond and May took it.  In TG 2.0 Evans dishes it out and LeBlanc dishes it out too and I can only see a head-to-head sooner or later. Clarkson in a Robin Rialto was funny. Evans and LeBlanc in a Robin Rialtos is, at best, tacky mimicry.  Homage to TG1.0 is fine but adding a short off-road bit (the “dirt section” says Evans – fnar fnar!) to the test lap is going nowhere, programmatically.

TG2.0 is a timid half-change; safe-keeping and re-framing programme assets and not boldly-going anywhere very much at all. Not so much a relaunch as a smudgy transit from A to B.  I have to make my new blogs better than that, so no pressure there then.

*twitter said that

**I said that

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3 thoughts on “Top Gear. A programme in search of a reason for change

  1. Don’t be too quick to judge – Chris Harris is also on the bill and he is a PROPER car guy and journo. I am expecting great things from him. Top Gear may become a car show yet!

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