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: Cleaner

£15000 - £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you've got first class custo...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Applications Developer / Architect - iOS and Android

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a medium s...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Account Executive - £40K OTE

£11830 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in a friendly, sales ta...

Recruitment Genius: Web Designer

£15000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Pentagon has suggested that, since the campaign started, some 10,000 Isis fighters in Iraq and Syria have been killed  

War with Isis: If US wants to destroy the group, it will need to train Syrians and Iraqis

David Usborne
David Cameron gives a speech at a Tory party dinner  

In a time of austerity, should Tories be bidding £210,000 for a signed photo of the new Cabinet?

Simon Kelner
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy