Deborah Ross: That Jeremy Clarkson only gets on TV because of his looks

If you ask me...

Share

If you ask me, as well you might, I thought I should point out, as no one else has yet, that the Sunday Times journalist AA Gill was absolutely spot on when he said that anyone who appears on television should be well-groomed and those who might be considered "ugly" should be kept "away from the cameras altogether".

Generally, this is upheld pretty well across most of the channels. Indeed, would AA Gill's close friend Jeremy Clarkson, for example, have got his job on Top Gear if he weren't so very pleasing to the eye? As the great communicator and brilliantly clever classicist Mary Beard has said: "I fancy him like mad. He's a dish. Who does his hair, do we know?" And as the excellent, all-round presenter Clare Balding has added: "He's drop-dead gorgeous. If anyone could turn me, it would be him. If you find out who does his hair, could you please, please tell me before you tell Mary? I don't want her stealing the march. I would DIE to have hair like that." As for the stonewashed denims, they both concur: "They are terrific. Who is his stylist, do we know?"

Mr Gill, I am guessing, probably learnt there is no place on TV for males who do not conform to glossy stereotypes, no matter what they have to say, from childhood. His father was Michael Gill, the BBC director and producer responsible for creating Civilisation: A Personal View by Kenneth Clark and Alistair Cooke's America, and while Clark would, in today's parlance, definitely be described as "hot totty", Cooke was noted as the most ravishing beauty of his day. "I don't have a clue about America, and don't give a shit," Cooke is known to have once remarked, "but, my God, I look good, and my hair? Isn't it super? Doesn't it shine like glass?"

As for Lord Clark, he was somewhat quieter on the subject, although he is on record as having once said, rather bitterly: "I hate it when people say I was given Civilisation simply because of my looks, even though I don't know the first thing about art history, am ill-equipped to make complex subjects accessible, and really only like shopping. I can shop till I drop, me."

As for Mr Gill himself, he is as much a victim of such body fascism, misandry, sexism and general shallow thinking as anyone. Once screen-tested for the role of co-host on Masterchef, he lost out to the fantastically more handsome, infinitely sexier Gregg Wallace. "Gregg also floats my boat," Mary has said, "Yum, yum." And as Clare has said: "If he had any hair, what I'd like to know is: who would do it? Who, who, who?"

d.ross@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Administrator

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Upholsterer

£9 - £15 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are seeking excellent indi...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Managed IT Services Provid...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nick Clegg (R) Liberal Democrat Leader and former leader Charles Kennedy MP, joined the general election campaign trail on April 8, 2010  

Charles Kennedy: The only mainstream political leader who spoke sense

Tim Farron
 

The strangely parallel lives of Oliver Letwin and Ed Miliband

Matthew Norman
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral