Almost a month after Jeremy Clarkson was let go from his Top Gear duties after a “fracas” with the show’s producer, the fallout at BBC continues as Top Gear’s longtime executive producer, Andy Wilman, has officially resigned from his post. Wilman, along with Jeremy Clarkson, revived Top Gear from obscurity nearly 13 years ago.
In an internal e-mail leaked last month titled “Au revoir”, Wilman said “our stint as guardians of Top Gear was a good one, but we were only part of the show’s history, not the whole of it.” Based on the tone of this quote, people would have easily guessed that the current format of Top Gear was going to end sooner than later.
A day later, a clearly annoyed Wilman publicly denied the e-mail as a letter of resignation, but instead he called it a “private note of thanks to 113 people who have worked on the show over the years.” However, if you had a chance you read the leaked e-mail, you will know that based on the content, it was more of a “farewell” letter than what Andy Wilman stated at the moment. So, the e-mail basically foreshadowed the event which unfolded yesterday, April 23rd, 2015.
Andy Wilman and Jeremy Clarkson were childhood friends and together they saved Top Gear from the brink of cancellation when they joined forces in early 2002 and reformatted the show into what it was until now. David Sillito, BBC Media and Arts correspondent said “The two old school friends turned a slightly worthy motoring consumer program into an entertainment show that was funny, irreverent, highly produced, and a hit around the world.”
Interestingly, Wilman’s resignation notice comes out immediately after the show’s co-presenter James May told reporters that he would not return to Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson. In the meantime, BBC announced that it will broadcast the three remaining episodes of Top Gear season 22 sometime later this summer.
BBC’s Kim Shillinglaw, who is now responsible for finding a replacement for Jeremy Clarkson, has confirmed that there will be a 23rd season of Top Gear scheduled for 2016. However, without Jeremy Clarkson, James May, Richard Hammond and Andy Wilman on the show, the next season of Top Gear will be very different from what we have been used to over the last 13 years.
But hey, some format of Top Gear is any day better than not having the show at all right?, only time will tell if this “new” Top Gear can live up to the reputation among the fans worldwide set by the earlier Top Gear.
Image Source: Dan Kitwood, BBC, and Top Gear
Information Source: Road and Track, BBC News, Jalopnik, and CAR and DRIVER