Monday, February 26, 2007

7.4 million Top Gear viewers silent on train stunt: 43 make the headlines...

A controversial train crash stunt broadcast last night as part of the Top Gear show was filmed last year here in Lincolnshire.

The BBC considered pulling the item following Friday's derailment of a high-speed Virgin train in Cumbria in which an elderly woman passenger died.

The film was a spoof health and safety item presented by Jeremy Clarkson who wore two safety helmets and warned drivers to always wear hi-vis jackets!

The stunt shows an unmanned 170-tonne locomotive slamming into a people carrier carelessly wasted by Clarkson.

The film was shot somewhere in Lincolnshire and its showing had already been postponed a few weeks ago after a fatal accident at a level crossing.

After taking the decision to go ahead last night, they briefed journalists and broadcast a warning at the top of the show - all no doubt good for the viewing figures.

The crash was naturally spectacular - and shown in actual speed, again in slow motion, and a third time in ultra-slow motion.

Critics say it was the wrong time to broadcast the stunt in view of the Cumbria fatality in which the hero driver and others are still in hospital.

Apparently, 43 viewers complained to the BBC.

Seven-point-four million others didn't.

My only complaint was not related to the Cumbria train crash, but the waste of a perfectly good people carrier.

Our already-battered and well-past-its-sell-by-date but t/rusty Mondeo would have done the job perfectly...


Anonymous said...

Yes a great use of the licence fee that.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Clarkson black sense of humour takes another victim.

"perfectly good people carrier."

No it wasn't! It was french! ;)

Anonymous said...

I like Clarkson. And the show is just the kind of pro-car programme to balance the environmental lunatic propaganda of the political class. But I object to (what is effectively) taxpayers' money being spent on this.

Anonymous said...

Or a not so old Astra!

Anonymous said...

I think it's worthwhile to bring to your attention that the decision to screen the crash item was done after consultation with Network Rail.

Network Rail had collaborated with Top Gear for months before the crash was done, to get the most effective tone and angle across to viewers. It was also part of Network Rail's 'Don't Run the Risk' campaign.

An announcement was made prior to broadcast as well. I could understand objections had the crash stunt been about train de-railments and faulty points but neither of these were mentioned or relevant to the particular issue in hand.

The BBC were entirely correct in broadcasting it at a time when railway safety in general is in the public eye.

Anonymous said...

And on next week's Top Gear:
Jeremy Clarkson and the lads are held solely responsible for plague, famine and the ebola virus.

Absolutely fed up to the back teeth of people blaming Top Gear for all that's wrong in the world. Top Gear is everything that IS right in the world!

Anonymous said...

Clarkson responsible?

I'd say he's never responsible.