See that guy? That's 1999 Jeremy Clarkson, and he's very disappointed. He's disappointed because people keep reading something he wrote back then and mistaking it for news that future him is leaving Top Gear now, in 2015. That makes him a sad Clarkson, and so he has to go console himself by listening to Smash Mouth or Fastball or whatever.

Thanks to some clickbaiting* assholes at an obscure car website who took his allusion-heavy Sun column as fact for the sake of Internet traffic, everybody thinks Clarkson is quitting Top Gear for good and that the show is canceled forever. In reality, none of that has been confirmed or even hinted at by any other sources.

Advertisement

It also doesn't help things that Clarkson wrote this other column about leaving Top Gear, and it's making the rounds also as supposed proof that the show is done for good. Just one problem: that column is from March 1999, where it appeared in Top Gear Magazine and was republished online at some point.

Advertisement

That's right. 1999, not 2015. It's from the first time he left Top Gear, only to return for its 2002 relaunch. But the problem with writing for the Internet is that nobody actually bothers to read things on the Internet, so it's being taken as a resignation notice from this year, despite two notes on the date and references to cars like the Cadillac Seville and Vauxhall Vectra. (Spoiler alert, they don't make those anymore.)

To recap: Clarkson hasn't announced he's quitting Top Gear yet, and no one knows what's going to happen with the show's future. That may change, but we're not there yet, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Advertisement

(*Go ahead and say that's the pot calling the kettle black when it comes from a Gawker Media writer, but if straight-up lying to people with the headline "UPDATE: Jeremy Clarkson Quits Top Gear, Show Cancelled for Good" isn't clickbaiting, then I don't know what is.)


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.