It's not Top Gear - career-wise, many may consider it a shift into reverse - but there’s a job waiting for sacked presenter Jeremy Clarkson... on Birmingham’s Big Centre TV.
Bosses of the fledgling West Midlands station say they would welcome the out-of-work presenter on its motoring programme Land Rovers Live.
And it sounds tailor-made for Clarkson, sacked from Top Gear by BBC bosses after allegedly assaulting producer Oisin Tymon. Land Rovers Live features a driver attempting to navigate a muddy field.
Producer Matt Cooper laughed: “If he said yes, I’d buy him a pint down the pub. And I’d make sure his dinner was on time and hot.”
It is claimed Clarkson, aged 54, saw red in a row over a meal.
Big Centre TV, available on Freeview Channel 8 and online, launched in February to mixed reviews. The station also shows old episodes of Crossroads, a Bollywood inspired keep-fit show and wrestling.
Land Rovers Live, aired on Wednesday nights, is the station’s bid to corner the petrolhead market - and Clarkson could be an important weapon in the ratings war. The show is billed as “all things Land Rover related - from the people who drive them to the people who make them”.
Matt added: “Things are going very well. Land Rovers Live has been running a long time before Big Centre TV, so it was out there. I think the format would be right up Clarkson’s street and I’d welcome working alongside him.
“He’d have to take a salary cut and the locations aren’t as exotic. We’re more about the people who drive Land Rovers - we recently filmed one making cider.
“Whatever he’s done, you can’t get away from the fact Clarkson is well known. Not always well known for the right reasons, but well known.”
Big Centre TV, co-owned by former ATV presenter Mike Prince and ex-teacher Chris Perry, features a number of well-known faces from the past,
Former Central TV sports broadcaster Bob Hall is head of news and sport, while ex Radio One DJ David Hamilton hosts a chatshow.
Channel director Chris Perry stressed early glitches had been ironed-out. He said: “It’s a learning curve to get things right and we’re listening to what people say.”
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