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5 Reasons to watch the BBC's latest season of Top Gear!

Alright, I'll be honest. I wrote that title, then saved this as draft and let it sit for a few days to think. Top Gear has been through a real roller coaster since 'Steakgate' and it's very nearly come of the tracks on more than one occasion.

Ultimately, despite my best efforts, I am REALLY struggling to come up with 1 reason to watch Top Gear. The reasons why I can't fancy it are numerous, complex and nuanced. I explain all in this clip.

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10:26

I meant Rory Reid shipped off to 'Extra Gear' NOT 5th Gear!

Am I missing something? I feel like when Clarkson sold the BBC Top Gear for a mint sum, he sold them a bit of a lemon because it would only ever work with Clarkson still in the show and if he left the show - he was always going to go and make another show. So what were the BBC actually buying?

I suppose they were buying a brand and stopping ITV or Channel 4 from picking it up. Ultimately though, it's now obvious the brand isn't worth what the BBC paid for it. They could have called it 'Three old fools muck about in cars' and as long as you had Clarkson, May and Hammond in it - it would have been popular.

It's a bit like when you buy one of those cheap Rolex copies off the 'Looky, looky' men. It says Rolex on the face, but it doesn't keep time and you know it isn't a Rolex. That's essentially what Top Gear became. A motoring show you bought off a 'Looky, looky' man while on holiday in Lanzarote, just to get him to bugger off and leave you alone.

I suppose technically seeing as I promised 5 reasons to watch it. I should actually give you 5 - so here we go!

1: It'll probably be on at the same time as 'Antiques Roadshow'

Yes, yes, I know - Season 26 will probably be rubbish. However, if it's a choice of watching Chris Harris and Rory Reid usher out Matt Le Blanc for an epic, if uninspiring swan-song, or watching some old dears carrying on about how their great-great uncle Cedric left them them this tea-chest, that turns out to be worth forty quid... Well I suppose I might go for Top Gear then.

2: You can't change channel and you're immobilized in front of the telly.

Picture the scene; you've broken both femurs and both wrists in a horrific motorcycle accident. You're propped up on the sofa, having just watched a film with the kids. Your wife is cooking tea. The kids start arguing over the remote and trying to snatch it off each other. They accidentally choose BBC 1 then somehow LOSE the TV remote! Top Gear comes on. Your wife's busy, you're immobile and the kids have buggered off upstairs to fight over something else. It's one of those modern smart TVs with no off switch. Sorry, but like or not - you're watching Top Gear!

3: You have 'guests' around that you're desperate to get rid of.

We've all got that ONE relative haven't we? The one who turns up at the least convenient time, then parks themselves down in your living room and spends the next 3 hours regaling you with stories about their gastroenteritis, their hip operation and the on-going argument they're having with their neighbour - Gladys. You might not be rude enough to be prepared to shout 'Look! Just BANNER OFF!' at them. But maybe you can get them to leave by pretending to be glued to Top Gear? They'll soon get fed up and go off to bother someone else.

4: You really miss 'Friends'.

Yes, I'm sure most of you are rolling your eyes at the thought of this. However, Friends was inexplicably popular! There was a time when EVERYONE watched it. There must be some people about who are really nostalgic about watching a bunch of young Americans who seem to have no job, but lots of money and time on their hands arguing with each other. Matt Le Blanc isn't playing Joey in Top Gear - I accept that. However I reckon Joey's character is pretty much based on Matt Le Blanc anyway. It almost makes you wonder if he'll go back stateside and start a new car show with that girl who used to play Phoebe and the other girl with dark hair who used to stamp around being miserable most of the time. I can't see that Annistan woman being up for it though. I think David Swimmer is doing time for shop-lifting - so he's out!

5: You're a sado-masochist.

Okay, bear with. You normally pop around some moderately unattractive, latex-clad, 60 year old woman's flat on a Sunday night, to be tied up, whipped and kicked in the ghoulies. However, having spent the last 12 months taking making £3000 a week as a 'whip for hire', she's swanned off on an around the world cruise with one of her younger slaves. It's too late to ring around for another dominatrix - so if you want your Sunday night dose of punishment, then your only option is to imagine said Dominatrix is forcing you to watch Top Gear. Who knows, maybe you could pay her £5 to text you - ordering you to watch ALL of Top Gear! I know, I'm clutching at straws here, but give me credit - I managed 5 reasons!

Well I hope I don't get too flamed for this. I'm sure there are people out there who have GREAT confidence in the BBC to deliver Top Gear. Personally, I currently have no plans to watch it and would probably choose at least two of the above alternatives to watching Top Gear!

Martyn Stanley

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