Clarkson – the gloves are off

Reviewed By  Ian Banks       August 30, 2015


Author  Clarkson ??? the gloves are off

ISBN:                 9781784187569
Publisher:         John Blake Publishing Ltd
Release Date:    


Jeremy Clarkson is a figure larger than life: he is outrageous, incredibly funny, scandalous, contentious and wealthy. All of these components combined have, over many years, made him a cash cow for the BBC in the show Top Gear: a show which has by turn attracted the highs and lows which go with a show that is more times than not, definitely outside the square in the straight forward, frequently outrageous views expressed by Clarkson and his sidekicks or cohorts’ in James May and Richard Hammond.

It all began for Clarkson in 1970 when he took his first job as a reporter for the Rotherham Times, which as the years would prove, was the best training ground he could have had to prepare him for what was to come along in his future.

The fact that he was truculent was a positive in this line of work but as the early years progressed he found the work tedious and repetitious. His love affair with cars was blossoming and he came up with the desire to try and combine his love of cars and his trade and write about them.

During 1984 the Motoring Press Agency was born with Clarkson starting from scratch with a syndicate motoring column and really, from there, the rest is history.

He won the anchor position of the fledgling BBC program Top Gear in 1989 with his irreverent and larrikin ways being just the right formula over the next 20 or so years, to drive the show into becoming a global phenomenon, being shown in over 170 countries with more than 350 million viewers tuning in each week.

That Clarkson has gone from strength to strength with one outrageous incident after another, somehow managing to scrape by with incidents which have outraged and insulted countries, manufacturers, ordinary citizens of the world, almost getting his team shot and definitely run out of the country they were filming in, was considered a by-product of the man himself and what he had become – a loud, opinionated man who showed little reverence for anyone or anything.

His audience grew and hung off his every word, until he simply went too far, once too often after a torrid day filming a show and far too much to drink. The BBC finally decided enough was enough and sacked him.

This provoked a public outcry never seen before with more than a million signatures on a petition demanding the BBC reinstate him. They did not and as they say the rest is history.

As an unauthorised biography this is a good, entertaining read in that it has taken much of the written facts known about Clarkson  and his amazingly flamboyant lifestyle and mixed them together to flesh out the person behind the TV lens, giving his persona a bit more substance other than the odd snippet let slip from time to time.

If you are a Top Gear fan or Clarkson fan you will enjoy every word, and even if you are not you will still enjoy a good read about a man who really is larger than life!