Most automobile enthusiasts love the BBC program Top Gear. Actually, a lot of people who don’t care a wit about cars enjoy the program as well. At least the version of the show from the UK as created by the BBC. We won’t talk about the US version. In fact, let’s forget I brought it up at all.
The British version, the real version, of Top Gear is a phenomenon. By many accounts it is the most watched factual, meaning not drama or fiction, program in the world. Though originally a regional program hosted by Angela Rippon, one of the main reasons for the current popularity is host Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson hosts along with co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond. Not only is Clarkson humor, entertaining, and a good driver, he is loud, rude, and prone to get into trouble with whatever powers-that-be may be around. In fact, he was just suspended by the BBC, putting the upcoming episodes in jeopardy.
So, in honor of Top Gear this week, here is the true story of the show’s humble beginnings. Who knows, “who was the original host of Top Gear” might just be one of the questions during your next playing of Trivial Pursuit. And the answer is Angela Rippon.