Nice guy, Joey Essex. Modest too, or at least he gave a convincing impression of being an unpretentious Essex-boy when he turned up for a chat on my Sunday morning radio programme Pienaar's Politics. No small feat, considering the star of the hit reality show The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) was surrounded by a small army of camera operators, producers, fixers, publicists and, for all I know, food tasters and hair-gel bearers , when he joined my guests and me in the studio and talked politics for 15 minutes.
Top Gear is watched in practically every country on earth. There is no other programme that crosses divides quite like it. Mr Bean comes to mind but not much else.
A new institution could be the catalyst we need to shape the world we want to live in and Britain's role in that world. Today, we're letting big commercial technology platforms shape much of our digital lives, dominating the debate about everything from online privacy to how we build smart cities.
His was the star around which the show orbited. James May was the brains, Richard Hammond was the sidekick, the production and editing teams were among the best in the world, but the show needed a Peter Pan.
It was not Danny Cohen or Tony Hall or Oisin Tymon that killed Top Gear. It was the man who made it in the first place. I am a big fan of his work but, based on the evidence we have heard over the past few weeks, I am not such a big fan of the man any more.
So, we have the most awaited verdict since the trial of OJ Simpson. It's official: Jeremy Clarkson has been sacked as the presenter of Top Gear. How are we going to survive without this hard-drinking, chain-smoking, politically incorrect and surprisingly fat ex-public schoolboy? Going forward, it's clear Top Gear is dead without him. There is no motoring show they can create which will make a ripple of the impact that Top Gear makes. Why? Because Top Gear isn't about the cars. It's the heavily scripted, beer-bellied, corduroy-jacketed banter between Clarkson and his TV bitches James May and Richard 'Hamster' Hammond.
Forget about the millions missing Top Gear, the BBC are expecting record viewing figures for another programme next Monday (March 30): a made-for-television film about the life of Noah, with David Threlfall playing the lead role and moving from shameless to righteous.
While Clarkson's true-to-form casual attitude to the 'fracas' and bravado to the subsequent BBC action of suspending him might give the impression that no damage has really been done, PR-wise, many media experts would disagree.
Never will we find ourselves "not being able to make the video player work" because we have a grasp on how to interact with menus, cursors, downloads & searches. Our knowledge is ingrained, adaptable and transferable.
What should have been a personal moment between two people, that could have been sorted out to the satisfaction of everyone concerned, in private, has been blown up to a story so huge that you could see it from the Space Station.
In almost any other industry or organisation, Clarkson's recent behaviour would have constituted as several incidents of gross misconduct. While there isn't a universal definition of this the government advises that the definition includes actions like theft, intoxication, fighting or physical abuse and offensive behaviour including discrimination.
After leaving school at 16, with no notable grades, I fell into a career as an electrician. I spent over a decade working on the tools, but I always knew my heart was not in it and I dreamed of a career as a journalist...
Irrespective of what the 'fracas' involved, one gets the impression that a certain sector of the BBC has been gunning for Clarkson's head for many years. And why? Because he simply conducts himself onscreen in the same manner as the viewers. By being real. By being himself.
The present system of the BBC Trust is out of date. It is wrong to consider that an organisation be run by a trust as well as by a company that it is supposed to manage the business. It would seem perfectly normal to understand that the licence holders are no different than shareholders.
As licence-fee payers, shouldn't we have a say in the artist and song that represents our country in an international competition? As consistently one of the highest-rated programes on television in the country in the whole year, shouldn't the lead-up programme be shown on a mainstream channel (rather than hidden behind the Red Button)?
Has my birth country become such a merciless society where most men don't acknowledge the existence of women, or if they do its only as an object to be bullied, groped, raped, beaten, tortured and killed?