Celebrities, much like us lesser mortals, come in many different guises. Some instantly attract our attention (engendering feelings of admiration and respect) whilst others make less of an impression, failing to engage with us on a more personal level.
My staunch inability to identify even the most notable of ‘household names’ has (over the years) become a source of utter bewilderment to my husband, but I’ve reached the conclusion that I’m just not that good at remembering the names of those whom I haven’t actually met. And besides, I’ve reached that age when managing to stay awake for an entire evening’s viewing poses a significant challenge!
Some celebrities are not quite as easy to forget though and names such as Morgan, Paxman and Clarkson seem to invite the sort of ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ response previously only associated with the tag line of a certain yeast extract spread. And despite having only watched a handful of ‘Top Gear’ episodes (in the days when I could stay awake for 60 minutes at a time and felt compelled to at least try to share in my hubby’s passion for performance cars and dangerous antics) Jeremy Clarkson certainly made an impression with his cavalier comments, dry wit, and proclivity for causing offence.
Having trained as a journalist, secured various roles as a motoring columnist, and written several humorous books about cars it was no real surprise that Clarkson cemented his reputation as something of a ‘petrolhead’. However, his decision to buy an arable farm in the Cotswolds in 2008 (and then to take over its management in 2019 with no previous experience of farming) was rather less predictable – although his decision to rename it ‘Diddly Squat’ (owing to its lack of productivity) was certainly in keeping with his penchant for self-deprecating remarks. His decision to make the project into a documentary was, of course, pure genius.
Almost inevitably, Clarkson’s Farm achieved the highest viewer ratings of any Amazon Video production with fans seemingly lapping up the way in which Clarkson (aided by the clever editing of Andy Wilman) had managed to bring entertainment and humour to the topic of farming. However, in true Clarkson style, his latest project has courted a great deal of controversy too. Whilst many of us have simply enjoyed being a ‘fly on the wall’ (watching his exploits from the comfort of our own homes) the locals have seen their hitherto delightfully sleepy and picturesque village turned into a major tourist attraction, complete with crowds and queuing traffic.
I can only imagine the tone that was set at the meeting that he recently called in order (purportedly) to assuage the fears of the local community in Chadlington. Known for his straight-talking and uncompromising approach I suspect that he was simply ‘setting out his stall’ so that the rumour mill might simply have a little more substance to it. Either way, when it was mentioned earlier this week (on Heart’s Breakfast Show) that Jeremy Clarkson (in addition to opening a restaurant) might be planning to plant grapevines with a view to producing his own wine, all sorts of questions began to assemble:
- Which variety of grape might he choose?
- What might it taste like?
- Would it be as successful as the rest of his produce?
And in much the same way as a pet’s appearance is widely believed to resemble its owner, I wondered if this particular wine might reflect the personality of its producer:
‘Steely, with a hint of flamboyance’ perhaps, ‘with mild tones of unpalatability’?