The Alleged Top Gear Salary Dispute: A Blogger Weighs In

The BBC is “confident” that Richard Hammond and James May will stay on Top Gear, despite reports that Hammond and May are angry that they aren’t paid as much as co-star Jeremy Clarkson. Oh drama.

Well the question everyone’s asking is – do Hammond and May deserve pay on par with Jeremy Clarkson? After all, Clarkson is a twenty-year veteran of the show and a British icon. Mark Wright at The Stage says,

Without Top Gear front and center on their annual CV, would either presenter’s extra-curricular projects be as noteworthy and successful? Richard Hammond is perhaps a special case, having become something of a national treasure following his near-fatal accident while filming a sequence for a Top Gear report. But that aside, I think he’s a likable and genuinely talented presenter with great range and appeal beyond Top Gear. But May…now, with all due respect, he’s cracking on Top Gear, but I’m not sure how much mileage that unkempt, uncompromising blokey shtick has beyond the show. Especially as Clarkson still carries off the same routine well enough without needing a Mini-Me to help him out.

Get her, girls! No one talks sh** about James May and gets away with it. And what’s this crack about Mini-Me? Should Verne Troyer sue?

In other news:

  • On an Aussie talk show, Gordon Ramsay will talk about “how, at just 18, he had sex with the 30-year-old wife of his boss.”(Courier Mail)
  • The cookbook business is facing a “British Invasion,” with new titles coming from Ramsay and Jamie Oliver.(Los Angeles Times)
  • Primeval star Douglas Henshall pities the fool who compares his show to Doctor Who: “It’s the one question I’ve been getting asked about the most: people comparing the show to that Doctor. I was mainly trying to avoid the comparison of the show we don’t want to mention.” So what is Primeval like? He compares it to The A-Team. “Our show is more of an ensemble like that show was.” (Digital Spy)
  • The Osbournes will return to U.S. TV with a Fox variety show (aren’t you stoked? Didn’t think so!), and Sharon Osbourne‘s already mugging for the cameras. Who knew the kids would seem like the classy ones in the family?
  • Bonekickers, the critically panned “British Indiana Jones” from the makers of Life On Mars, had big ratings for its series premiere in the UK on Tuesday night.(Guardian)
  • The five most critically slaughtered British TV shows “ever” from TV Scoop.
  • The more I hear about this, the more I believe in Kabbalah mind control: Alex Rodriguez was “in love” with Madonna, says a friend. Sick! Sick! Sick! Sick!(The Sun)
  • Sir Salman Rushdie‘s novel, Midnight’s Children, has won the Best of the Bookers.(BBC)
  • Popjustice heralds Gabriella Cilmi‘s new video and single. “It’s funny to think that if Gabriella Cilmi had launched her career with her new single ‘Save The Lies’ instead of ‘Sweet About Me’ she would have totally avoided the whole ‘Winehousealike’ accusations and would have simply been accepted as a quite good new pop singer with a quite good new single.”
  • Prince William is taking part in a disaster training exercise in the Caribbean while brother Prince Harry tangles with the BBC’s royal reporter.
  • Two English rugby players have been fined for misconduct. See their photos over at The Guardian. I don’t know what they actually did. I’m too blinded by lust to care. (One of them is named Topsy (!) Ojo, and he is, quite simply, stunning. Gotta love the Nigerian Brits.)
  • Russell and his fellow Crowes have taken up residence in a £20,000-a-mouth London house while he’s filming Nottingham, his Robin Hood flick.
  • Not content with producing Cardiff-based Doctor Who and Torchwood, the BBC and fellow UK broadcaster ITV are aiming to increase production in Wales.(BBC)

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Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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