Ooooh! A Fracas!!!

It won’t have escaped many people’s notice that the motoring-themed sitcom Top Gear, in which Jeremy Clarkson portrays a ludicrously over the top character also called Jeremy Clarkson[1], has been all over the news. Again. Previous incidents have involved allegations of racism, idiocy and general misbehaviour. But apparently there was, as the BBC delightfully put it, a “fracas” involving “Clarkson” (or perhaps it was the “real” Clarkson rather than his character) and a producer.

A what, now? Well, it’s not a word you hear much these days, unless you’re stuck somewhere in the 1970s (rather like Jeremy) and someone’s attempting a weak double entendre. So, for the benefit of more modern readers, here’s what the mighty OED has to say:

Copyright OED, or some such

Copyright OED, or some such

Apparently some newspapers are saying a punch was involved, and others are saying that this is being denied.

What’s not being denied is that Top Gear won’t be shown on Sunday, and that the remaining episodes of the current series are likely to be dropped as well. Now this is interesting – the show is sold to numerous countries (and has been licensed to a few for local versions), and the BBC gets a lot of income from merchandise. In short, it makes a lot of money, so dropping it suggests that the management are seriously upset.

As I see it, there are two possible outcomes:

1. Everyone kisses and makes up, and business continues as before

2. The BBC decide that they can’t continue making the show with Clarkson, which will more than likely result in the Top Gear presenters being signed up by another channel to make exactly the same show with a different name

Get your popcorn in now…

[1] That’s right, isn’t it?