The BBC's just released a statement across the wires that they'll be postponing the upcoming season of Top Gear. "We would not think of finalising plans for the next series without discussing it with everyone involved," the BBC said in the statement. "When it is suitable, the team will do this and we will announce a new transmission date." This came after co-host Richard Hammond, who suffered serious injuries in a 280 mph Vampire jet-car earlier this week, was moved from the "really-fucked-up" room in the hospital to the "Keith Richards" room — a sign of unbelievable luck, and a positive indicator of a return to good health. Another sign was a statement released by "a source close" to Hammond, who stated:
"Neither Richard or Jeremy Clarkson want the show to be postponed and they most certainly do not want it to be given the chop,' said a source close to the presenter.
'Richard wants to get back to normality as quickly as possible, let all the fuss and commotion surrounding him die down, and just get on with the show.
'Richard's a pretty simple, easygoing soul and what makes him happy is driving fast cars and doing crazy stunts.
'If he has any sway, there is no way in hell the show will be axed. He is annoyed enough that the series is being postponed, because obviously the greater fear is that the BBC is making its first step on the path to culling the programme permanently."
While at the same time as the "close source" made the above statement and the Beeb announced the season's potponement, police and the UK's Health and Safety Executive (NAMBLA) were working on a joint investigation — prompting Top Gear's producer, Andy Wilman threatening to quit if there was any attempt made to tone down the program's emphasis on speed, extreme stunts and top-level hoonage.
"Change in some way? What would be the point? You either do the show you love or you walk away."
Clarkson's fully embraced Wilman's attitude, in his own statement — a much more crass and silly-sounding one than yesterday's comparably light response:
"You just hear this constant background chatter of lesbian women running around saying that men should be in prison, not driving fast cars. Richard Hammond is the first one to stand up to that kind of nonsense. When he comes back he will fight anyone to make sure he has a show to go back to...Next week I intend to be down on the track driving faster than ever. It's what we do."
Yes, and as we said earlier it sounds like Clarkson's girding up for battle. Anyone interested in seeing how he handles said girding — there's a video below which we think may interest you. Jeremy, try not to blow up too much stuff today, ok?
'We won't do Top Gear without him' [The Observer]
Clarkson Says Hamster Walks, Talks And Uses The Loo: "Richard Hammond Is Winning His Fight"; Breaking! Richard Hammond Chats with Captain Slow; Update: Richard Hammond "Making Progress"; Richard Hammond's Path of Destruction; Scene Of The Crash: BBC Video Report On Richard Hammond; Doctors Report "Significant Brain Injury" [internal]