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Top Gear fakery: Lambo test fraud?

2011-08-15 15:30

TOP FAKERY: Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson is known for his often risqué quips on the show.

London - Top Gear may be one of the world’s most popular TV shows but it's had its fair share of controversy over the years. The latest is an ongoing "fakery" scandal which has plagued the show since Tesla took legal action against the BBC for allegedly faking a test of its roadster.

Wheels24 reported in August that the programme angered Nissan with its LEAF test, during which the electric car was shown breaking down despite starting the test on less than half its battery capacity.

Now it seems sources are keen to jump on the Top-Fakery band wagon, even going into archive footage to out the programme as not always quite accurate.

The latest claims are that scenes filmed with 'Top Gear' stars are actually performed by professional drivers. Sources even claim that some of the high-speed stunts on the show’s track are actually executed by professional racing drivers hired by the BBC.

A source told the Daily Mail that there were limitations when it came to filming an episode and the show hired professionals to perform the stunts of which Jeremy Clarkson and his co-hosts are not capable.


"Well, he’s (Clarkson) not a pro, is he? There are limitations with filming. It’s all done on a pretty tight time schedule and they need to get the right shots quickly, which is why they use pros because they can do the stunts in one take," said the source."

A second source said: "'Top Gear' relies on professional racing drivers a lot more than the show would suggest. I would say 80% of the driving on the show is done by pros but it is made to look as if it’s done by Jeremy. When you see the wheels on a car spinning and smoke coming out, that will more than likely be a professional driver."

An episode aired in 2008 shows Clarkson test-driving a £178 000 (R2-million) Lamborghini Murcielago at a top speed of 333km/h in heavy rain. According to the Daily Mail however, though Clarkson was behind the wheel during certain sections of the episode, it was in fact Formula 3 driver Aaron Scott who achieved the blistering pace of 333km/h limit.

BBC spokeswoman Tara Davies commented that 'Top Gear' used professional drivers to save costs… no doubt Clarkson’s reported R10-million a year salary could be affecting overall costs.


"Yes, professional drivers are used on the show. On the Power Laps, production has the car for a day, and during that time Jeremy has to go off to do scripting, so rather than him driving for a bit and then everyone having some down time and the car just sitting there while he goes off and writes, and because it is a very expensive show to make, other people may do the driving."

Davies added that Clarkson would have driven the car up to the speed of 333km/h but for the purposes of padding out the episode with different shots/angles they would use a professional driver.

Davies issued a statement as reported on the Daily Mail: “Jeremy would have driven the car and got it to 333km/h. Then, when they wanted a camera shot of the speedometer going up to 333km/h they would have got a different driver to do that."

Is this telling us anything we didn’t already know? Clarkson and his co-host are certainly accomplished drivers but they couldn’t hold a candle to professional stunt and racing drivers. Clearly professionals are hired to make track shoots more dramatic, also the BBC could say the programmed never said any of its hosts would be behind the wheel for the entirety of the segment.

We suppose it could be called “fake” when viewers are led to believe the presenters are driving when it fact there are hired professionals behind the wheel.

The bottom line is, 'Top Gear' is an entertainment show and will be edited in way that creates the most entertaining show possible. Proof of its success is it’s incredible following and being rated as one of the most-popular shows globally.

Clarkson denies it all!


Inside Wheels24

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