Jeremy Clarkson. We all know that this man working for BBC
and who hosts the show ‘Top Gear’ has a huge fan following. So do Sunny Leone
and Pamella Anderson, at least the latter when her silicon implants were in
good order! Fan following is fickle. It all depends on how you are portrayed.
Clarkson became popular because BBC allowed him, but arrogance got the better
of him over a period of time and his caustic sense of humour got worse as he saw
more of himself on television and saw drooling young nerds following him and
Now that this man has gone and punched a BBC producer, he
has been suspended, and so has the show been taken off the air.
Fan following, well that is something that happens all over
the world, all the time, be it football players, Hollywood starlets, boxing
champs, rugby players, or even a lying politician. Pornography has the best fan
following because anything about sex sells...good or bad! Car and bike races
and their champions too have a huge fan following. But, like I said, it stays
popular as long as the media or a corporate house wants it to stay. You retire
a columnist with a great fan following from a newspaper and bingo...his fan
following stops. If Barkha Dutt were to leave NDTV and join Doordarshan her fan
following will plunge to dismal levels.
Now coming back to Clarkson....I was never a stupid auto
enthusiast so I never had bothered to tune in to his shows. Bring this man to
India and let him talk about Maruti Suzuki cars and he will trash all the cars immediately. This man only loves speed and everything silly about speeds. But I
have seen my young office colleagues simply drooling over Clarkson’s remarks. I
have never seen any of his shows, barring a couple which by chance I came
across when I was surfing channels. In one of his shows he had a burner in his
hand and he was trying to burn a padded posterior of his male colleague. He was
laughing like a ten year old deranged kid! My wife and I looked at each other
and wondered where the humour was! In another show I saw him speeding inside a
supermarket, knocking down edible stuff on shelves. As the packets of cereals,
food items and other sundry stuff fell down from the shelves and scattered
across the floor, I could see a grinning Clarkson looking proudly at the damage
that was being done.
Of late, I have always wondered how sensible BBC is. On one
hand they make a brilliant documentary like “India’s Daughter” and on the other
they have on the show a silly cartoon with even a sillier sense of humour.
I wonder, if Clarkson, as some of my young colleagues say,
is really a fast driver, then why has he not competed in the F1 or any of the
other motor race championships? Because BBC made a hero out of him and it got
its TRPs and popularity. Like I always said, automotive business is not all
about racing like a maniac; it is about understanding the market, the people, the
culture, the income levels and bringing about a product that fulfils their
dreams. That is where I think my magazine Motown India balances the world of
B2C and B2B. You have got to be sensible. Fan following is not a license to
become arrogant, rather it is a chance for you to knock some good sense into
people’s minds...It’s time to punch him out!
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