Top bloke

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - TIMBLAIR blairt@dai­lytele­graph.com.au

TOP GEAR host Jeremy Clark­son has no short­age of de­trac­tors, from for­mer Bri­tish PM Gor­don Brown— lam­pooned by Clark­son dur­ing an Aus­tralian tour as a ‘‘ oneeyed Scot­tish idiot’’— way down to the usual on­line scream­ers.

With his net worth es­ti­mated last year at about $4.5 mil­lion, the oc­ca­sional snipe must leave Clark­son ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated.

The pre­sen­ter’s op­po­nents have also cashed in with free­lance hit pieces here and there. Bri­tish jour­nal­ist James Del­ing­pole, in Australia now to pro­mote his ex­cel­lent book Killing The Earth to Save It, had this to say in The Spec­ta­tor: ‘‘ A few years ago, I was asked to write a rant-piece for a tabloid news­pa­per along the lines of Why Jeremy Clark­son is a bad thing. My prob­lem, a not in­con­sid­er­able prob­lem, given the £1200 ($1900) be­ing of­fered for about half a morn­ing’s work, was that I didn’t think Jeremy Clark­son was a bad thing. Re­luc­tantly, I said no.’’ Clark­son surely owes Del­ing­pole a shot at Top Gear’s track in a $1900-priced car. Seems only fair.

GIVE HER A HAND

I RE­ALLY, re­ally wanted to at­tend nrma pres­i­dent Wendy Machin’s launch this week of a cam­paign against road rage but the traf­fic in Syd­ney at 10.30am was out­ra­geous and I got cut off twice by idiots and then a cy­clist put his hand on my car to bal­ance him­self at a red light. If he wants it back, he’s wel­come to con­tact me. Apolo­gies to Wendy for not mak­ing it to the launch. Her cam­paign sounds in­ter­est­ing and worth­while.

SPARE THE RAGE

JOK­ING! The pre­vi­ous item is en­tirely made-up (well, apart from Ms Machin’s anti-rage ini­tia­tive). I’m mr Calm & Gen­tle be­hind the wheel these days, thanks to buy­ing a 13-year-old bmw for which spares are rare. Any an­gerin­duced in­ci­dents and I’m look­ing at a year-long wait for a wiper blade. This rare-spares tac­tic is rec­om­mended to po­ten­tially rag­ing road-users. For the ex­treme cases, buy a Jensen FF or NSU Ro80. You’ll be driv­ing as though the bumpers are formed from Swarovski crys­tal.

4WD SPICE

LAND Rover de­sign di­rec­tor Gerry Mcgovern ex­plains Vic­to­ria Beck­ham’s in­flu­ence on the new Range Rover Evoque Spe­cial Edi­tion: ‘‘... we quickly recog­nised our sim­i­lar de­sign tastes and am­bi­tion for this car. At the first meet­ing ... I was struck by the jux­ta­po­si­tion of the mas­cu­line watch on a very el­e­gant, fem­i­nine wrist. We both agreed it was the ideal way to in­tro­duce a softer touch to the bold, as­sertive ex­te­rior colour scheme.’’ Main­tain­ing the Posh in­flu­ence, the Evoque is anorexic and can’t sing.

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