It's been announced that Chris Evans will be holding open auditions for his new Top Gear co-presenters. Apparently the only requirement they have for the new co-presenters is that they "know about cars."
Which, unfortunately rules me out.
It's is a shame, I probably could have got in on the whole Top Gear gravy train under the old guidelines. I have no problem with causing controversy, offending people and carrying out public beatings of the production staff. But knowledge of cars... well... my knowledge extends as far as them having four wheels (usually) and that they're a lot quicker than walking.
Oh, and that they aren't particularly good for the environment.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure that would make for a great audition piece.
"So, for my audition I'm going to explain why our viewers should take public transport instead."
It's not that I have anything against cars, some of them look pretty cool - especially the ones which cost more than 10 times the average salary. But I kind of think that the idea of hiring someone simply because they know about cars is kind of missing the point of Top Gear.
I know that might sound crazy, considering it's a program about cars - but hear me out.
On the whole, Top Gear's popularity had little to do with the cars... in fact, I'm kind of sure if they kept the old presenters, ditched the whole cars stuff for an episode, and talked about retro toys instead a lot of people wouldn't have noticed. Then again, I might just be saying that because I thought James May's Toy Stories was a far superior series.
The truth is that Top Gear's popularity was more about the chemistry and personality of the presenters rather than the cars. Seriously, if any TV network wants to hire them and compete with Top Gear - don't bother with cars - just put them on a private jet and give them full access to a mini-bar and film what happens. Sure, you may end up with a lawsuit on your hands - but the ratings will be through the roof.
As for the BBC, rather than auditioning a load of car buffs, they'd be better off going to the pub with Chris and finding out which of his mates were the best laugh. Who cares if they don't know their Toyota from their Motorola, that's what the researchers are for, right?
Although, I get the feeling there's a great reality TV show lurking in all of this - something like "Top Gear Factor". James May and Richard Hammond could be judges, and Jeremy Clarkson could turn up one week as a guest mentor. He could teach them all how to cause controversy and help them brush up on their producer-beating technique. I know his role's been filled, but someone's got to keep the show in the headlines.
I have been trying my best to help out the BBC with the whole Top Gear presenter shenanigans. I was even going to turn up and audition, until the whole caveat of knowing about cars appeared. Because of this, the only thing I can do is go through the archives at Coupofy to see if we had a coupon for a quality Top Gear presenter.
I haven't found anything yet, but I promise I'll keep looking.
In the meantime, however, why not skip the whole auditioning process and hire this Jeremy Clarkson lookalike?
I mean, why wouldn't you hire the guy? He looks like Jeremy Clarkson, he dresses like Jeremy Clarkson and he gets a thumbs up at the traffic lights because people think it's Jeremy Clarkson. I'm not sure he's ever had a chance to watch Top Gear though, since he seems to think it's on ITV. But that's OK, I'm sure you can spend some time bringing him up to speed.
Plus, at the very least, hiring him will keep the production staff on their toes - at least until they work out it's not the real Jeremy Clarkson!