Is Jeremy Clarkson assembling a box more interesting than new Top Gear?
There’s now a video of Jeremy Clarkson on James May’s “Unemployment Tube”, a Youtube channel he started when his contract with Top Gear was coming to an end, and the video has now become somewhat of a viral phenomenon. It has nothing to do with cars and simply shows Jeremy taking a long time to assemble a shipping box from DHL, one of the sponsors of their new show, The Grand Tour (we’re a little disappointed that it’s not called Gear Knobs).
Really, if it was any man playing with a cardboard box and recorded with the same shoddy camerawork (you’re supposed to shoot video in landscape, James!), this video would most likely be overlooked or, knowing how cruel the internet world is, severely ridiculed. But of course since it features our favourite cantankerous man, it has now racked up to almost 1.7 million views since it was uploaded on 6 June, with fans saying that it was more entertaining than the rebooted Top Gear.
The video’s most liked comment says that the “who stole my hammer?” moment was far more enjoyable than the “2 hours of gimmicky mimicking from Chris Evans”.
The first episode of the new Top Gear drew in 6.4 million viewers, but that is a combined figure of the 4.4 million who watched it live and those who watched in the seven days that followed. Only 2.8 million Brits tuned in for the second episode, but the numbers from the BBC iPlayer and other VOD services have not been published yet.
Chris doesn’t have to worry just yet because a BBC representative has publicly stated that the broadcaster is “delighted that this was the strongest launch episode of Top Gear since 2013” and it is still above the 2.6 million viewer average; however, if we were Chris, we would be quite disheartened to find out that Antiques Roadshow beat the second episode of Top Gear with 4.7 million viewers – people were more interested in seeing an old movie camera and a dagger with a questionable past, then watch Chris hang out with F1’s Jenson Button in a McLaren.
Chris has been aggressively tweeting defense of the viewing figures, saying that overnight figures are no longer relevant. There’s truth to his statement. The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board calculates overnight figures by tracking the programmes watched in 5,100 households and each of that household represents 5,000 other across the UK. Of course that would not lead to an accurate inference and it also does not take into account other services like the BBC iPlayer which can be used on computers, mobile devices and even game consoles.
The ultimate showdown will happen when The Grand Tour is launched in Autumn. Then, we will see which way the viewers will sway.