Aging schoolboy and petrol head Jeremy Clarkson who presents BBC's 'Top Gear' programme featuring cars no ordinary bloke can afford has been offered a contract by French tyre manufacturer Michelin to promote the brand in Britain.
Initially, Clarkson, who likes his food, thought it was for a rôle also as a restaurant critic for their popular guides. i.e. a free lunch. Thus he would get to drive to the restaurant, have his fill, then be chauffeured home to write the necessary 250 words. Unfortunately, the furthest the French are expected to go to accommodate this is a bistro and a bike.
If Clarkson signs, then to avoid accusations of bias the BBC would probably restrict Clarkson to presenting items in which Michelin did not have interest. Audience interest is immaterial as long as they keep paying the licence fee. When asked how negotiations were progressing, Jeremy was tight lipped but quipped "What's pneu?"
Clarkson is being fêted to be the face of Michelin in Britain. Chef des Affaires, Luc Yeux (his mother was Welsh), explained. "What attracted us to Jeremy was his identification with high end performance cars and his similarity to our iconic trademark figure. Those cars eat tyres the way he drives, but we would save on the cost of padding and a rubber suit. Environmentally, its carbon neutral for us." That's an irrelevance for Jeremy.
The opportunities for a high profile personality to exploit their celebrity by product association can be lucrative. This will depend on their profile or whether their name suits the product. Jeremy had previously been approached by fashion brand Diesel but he couldn't bring himself to sign…. You can understand his aversion. Fashion label Petroleum would have fitted his self image, but of course the clothes wouldn't fit him. Its lucky Jeremy wasn't old enough to be famous when tour operator Clarkson folded in the 1970's. He'd have had to drive out and bring the stranded holidaymakers back in his Lamborghini.
The Michelin deal could be the only one on offer to the big (and increasingly big) man in the foreseeable future. Any prospect of a Grecian2000 contract would seem to depend on his greying hair winning the race against his receding hairline. It could be a life saver for Clarkson, who knows he can't make a living forever slagging off Europeans and Yanks for a Christmas release DVD. He's tried other targets, but the natives are now fighting back! He got a chilli response recently from the Mexican Ambassador and had to apologise when he 'mildly' joshed that they were lazy and slept half the day.
Olé Señor Embajador! If Jeremy was only as energetic and hard working as your countrymen are, hopping over the Rio Grande to pick your neighbours fruit 12 hours a day, he would be able to climb stairs. As it is, he can only just squeeze into a lift, and while he's in there no one better fart, he leaves so little space. And if lifts are a challenge, what will the future hold for him as cars get smaller?
Like all Yorkshiremen he's fond of his county, but Jeremy has brains, and the money and fame was down south, so he left. Now it could pay to shift allegiance a bit further south, like over the Channel. Use your brains, Jeremy: cash in on your bulk - like Ironside. His series ran for years.