If the BBC doesn't hire Alan Partridge as the new Top Gear host, then it'll be spiking itself right in the foot

Alan might have once shot a guest live on air, but with his relaxed demeanour and passion for motoring, he's the perfect man for the job

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The Independent Online

This article has been co-authored with Hamish Gibson.

We believe that after a long, successful stint on the show, Jeremy Clarkson’s time on Top Gear is coming to an end. It's now simply a question of who will pick up the keys.

We have an idea. In just three days over 30,000 people have backed our call to hire legendary broadcaster Alan Partridge to take up the vacated role on Top Gear.

Time and time again, Alan has shown his ability as a quality presenter, with experience ranging from sports presenting to chat show hosting.

His relaxed demeanour with guests is unrivalled in British television, and his passion for motoring is unquestionable. Indeed, he was once offered the chance to decide between keeping his Pear Tree Productions company alive or keeping his Rover 800. Rather than compromise his car quality and downgrade to a Mini Metro, Alan fired his entire staff. This is exactly the man we need to present Top Gear.

Alan is also no stranger to a fracas. In the past he accidentally shot a guest live on air when working for the BBC. We understand that producers may be wary of hiring him for a high profile position after such an incident, and it may even provoke accusations of hypocrisy given the current situation with Clarkson.

However, Alan has proven his resilience and ability to bounce back. When Jeremy drives bare footed to Dundee while gorging on Toblerone, then we’ll listen.

We also understand that Alan’s lack of respect for traffic cones may set him at odds with the professionalism desired by the BBC, but this only demonstrates that he's a motor-headed maverick who makes Clarkson look tame by comparison. This will surely put him on great terms with the audience.  If the BBC is unwilling to recognise this, the Corporation’s lack of boldness will be tantamount to spiking itself in the foot.

Alan is undeniably the natural successor to Clarkson. His driving get-up, comprising a canary yellow shirt, horizon blue stay-crease action slacks, cap, polaroids and tan string-back driving gloves, oozes the look of a man in control of his vehicle, and of his career.

From what kind of deodorant to wear (Lynx Voodoo, if you've run out of Java), to the plural word for Lexus (Lexi) and how to break up with a girl over the radio, Alan’s lessons have been invaluable to us all. BBC, we call on you to #HirePartridge so that Top Gear can become a show that’s not just about cars, but about putting your life in top gear. Aha.

You can sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/p/bbc-hire-alan-partridge-for-top-gear

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