THE BLOG

It's 'Top Gear' Folks; but Not as We Know It.

06/08/2015 14:13 BST | Updated 05/08/2016 10:59 BST

Did you know that when the film director Francis Ford Coppola first cast the lead in the classic war movie Apocalypse now he chose Harvey Keitel? There were some differences between Coppola's interpretations of the lead character Captain Willard and Keitel's idea on how he should be played and so after the first week of principal photography he was replaced by another casting favourite Martin Sheen. The rest as they say is history but we'll never know whether the film would have been better with the equally talented Keitel as the star or not. In another instance after working with Coppola on the Godfather Part three, the actor Andy Garcia was firm favourite to play Dracula in Coppola's version of the classic film but the role went instead to Gary Oldman. Again, the film may have turned out better or worse with either man playing the role. We'll never know. But what we all know is that Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson will not even really be Top Gear. In a musical comparison this will be Van Hagar not Van Halen. Worse still, it won't even be like Queen without Freddie Mercury( and let's face it even the stuff recorded with Elton John and George Michael were poor substitutes for the originals with the great and grand Mister Mercury) and this is because the rest of 'the band' made up of James May and Richard Hammond have departed too. Just as James May observed in the midst of the fracas surrounding Clarkson's departure and subsequent negotiations for him and Hammond to stay were underway "It just won't work without Jeremy!" Even if they had stayed well, The Doors could never replace Jim Morrison could they? This proposed replacement of Top Gear is a brand new animal and should really have brand new packaging and a brand new name.

Anyway, possibly before the new team is cast in stone I would like to offer an alternative selection than the one being planned to be lead by Chris Evans-I think one team that could work really well in the Top Gear format would be Rowan Atkinson, Jay Kay from Jamiroquai and Stephen Fry. All car enthusiasts but moreover they're all very popular men. They would also be a similar combination of personalities as the original group. True this would be expensive to put together but no more than the original boy's have just signed a new deal for. Would it be better than the original line up? I very much doubt it but it was the best I could come up with.

With so many remakes of great movies churning out these days, either for the big screen or being made into television show's one movie that won't be remade is one of the very best ever: The Godfather. Did you know that Marlon Brando was the studio's last choice for the role of Don Vito Corleone? Executives refused to consider Brando for the role of Don Corleone, given the difficult actor's reputation. Among the other actors considered were Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, George C. Scott, Anthony Quinn, and Ernest Borgnine. Even Burt Lancaster wanted the job but as we all know it went to Brando. No one has ever considered that bad casting because we know no one could have done a better job. Now Top Gear isn't a piece of art like this movie but it's a pretty great action blockbuster of a show. If it goes ahead as is it will be a Rocky movie without Stallone, a Mission Impossible movie without Cruise, worse still it could just be like a Bond movie with the wrong guy as Bond-you know the ones I'm talking about.