Think Outside the News Special: Potential Jeremy Clarkson replacements revealed

Clarkson, May, Hammond

Following the decision to not review Jeremy Clarkson’s contract when it expires at the end of next month, the BBC are preparing for an exhaustive talent search to seek out the next presenters of their most successful export, Top Gear.

Here at Think Outside the Box we have had a sneak peak at the list of potential replacements, and we are now able to bring you a world exclusive – yes, WORLD EXCLUSIVE – having thoroughly checked our information with absolutely nobody.

Jonathan Ross & Russell Brand

Do they know anything about cars? Probably not, but then Top Gear hasn’t offered anything resembling intelligent and thoughtful automotive conversation for years.

What Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand do offer however is guaranteed lad-bants, something which might otherwise be in short supply when the trio of Clarkson, May and Hammond departs. Possible features of the show if fronted by the two former BBC stars would include laughing hysterically at the expense of audience members wearing trainers with Go-Faster stripes and calling up pensioners to tell them that their loved ones have died in a car crash.

Gordon Ramsey

Possibly best known for Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares in which he aggressively swears at and intimidates humble seaside café owners whenever he’s annoyed, confused or hungry, Ramsey would appear to be the perfect replacement for Jeremy Clarkson. He may lack the humour, wit or Jack-the-Lad like-ability of Clarkson and Co., but at least he’s perhaps the most likely to give the Top Gear producers the beating that the show’s fans think they deserve.

The Test Card Girl and her terrifying, quadriplegic clown

Test Card Girl

Emotionless & dead-eyed car reviews from 2-6am

It’s been a few years since they were on the TV, but this bizarre late night double act represent traditional BBC values. Whether those values involve casual racism and spontaneous violence is unclear, but the pair should at least remind viewers of a simpler time, when you could drive a car without wearing a seat belt, leave your doors unlocked at night and walk down the street without being blown up by a terrorist or raped by a radio DJ.

Joe Swash

This hasn’t been officially rumoured – he’s just on fucking everything.

The Ghost of Enoch Powell

A left-field choice certainly, but the restless spirit of the former Conservative MP would at least provide that “Doesn’t Give a Shit” character trait that made Clarkson so popular. If his infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech taught us anything about Enoch Powell, it’s that he isn’t afraid to say what he thinks, and that’s exactly the sort of quality that would come in handy when reviewing the design and manufacture of a shoddy family hatchback by some lazy Spic or slitty-eyed Chinaman.

His salary shouldn’t be too expensive, although the BBC would have to stump up for a team of witch doctors and Shaman to capture his demonic soul in a glass orb.

Think Outside the News: Survey reveals 86% would let Jeremy Clarkson shag their mum

More than four-fifths of the British public would still want the BBC to reinstate Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson even if he shagged their mum, a new study has found.

Despite indulging in casual racism, punching people in the face and generally acting like an arsehole for years, a petition in support of Clarkson has garnered one million signatures.

Jeremy-Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson: Probably doing your mum.

Rob Vicars, a Tonka Truck collector and Jeremy Clarkson fan said: “So what if he punched someone in the face? He’s bloody hilarious. Like when he calls Mexicans lazy or recites racist nursery rhymes. What has this country come to if we can’t give the freedom to do whatever the fuck you like to the richest and most influential people in society?”

Other celebrities that respondents considered to be above the law included Terry Wogan, Bez from the Happy Mondays and former Match of the Day presenter Des Lynam.

“It’s political correctness gone mad,” said Rebecca Dudley, a casual racist from Northampton, before wandering off to throw rocks at other rocks.

The study also found that 52% would let Jeremy Clarkson spit on their shoes, and that 24% would let him kick their nan in the shins.

REVIEW: Still Alice

Usually when you come out of a cinema planning how you’ll kill yourself it’s because the film you’ve just put yourself through hasn’t done a particularly good job of keeping you entertained. Here at TOTB we’ve lost count of the number of existential crises that have been brought on by that very unique feeling of having had a few hours of your life essentially stolen from you. Not wasted, no, but stolen; stolen by broken cinematic promises that leave you feeling empty and betrayed.

It’s the sort of feeling you get if you’re dumped by the person you love, or if you’ve ever seen an Adam Sandler movie.

As we all emerged from the screening of Still Alice, the entirety of the audience blinking through tears as we wondered how old we’d be when we finally needed to book our Dignitas consultation, we felt very much the same – except this time it’s exactly what they wanted. The sick bastards.

It feels somewhat redundant reviewing Still Alice when it has been in the public consciousness for so long. After all, Julianne Moore had won the Oscar for Best Actress before the film was even released in the UK, but Think Outside the Box has never shied away from being redundant.

For those of you who don’t know, Alice Howland (Moore) is a well respected Linguistics professor who, after finding herself forgetting simple things and even getting lost while jogging around the university campus where she works, is diagnosed with Early On-set Alzheimer’s Disease. From here, the narrative plays out much as you’d expect, with both Alice and her family struggling to come to terms with the rapid and debilitating effects of the condition.

The drama is quite televisual at times, however it is elevated hugely by the performances of Julianne Moore and, to lesser extents, Kristen Stewart and Alec Baldwin. Dialogue that would sound prosaic in lesser hands is brought to life by a performance that is every bit an Oscar winner. A lot credit needs to go to the directors too (the late Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland), as the framing of the shots is key in developing that sense of isolation and disorientation that our main protagonist is experiencing. During Alice’s first conversation with her neurologist the camera remains fixed on her, and it is little moments like this that help to create such a personal story.

Still Alice certainly isn’t flawless, and if it hadn’t been for Julianne Moore’s performance then it may be that we’d be seeing it in five years time on the True Movies channel. The supporting cast are barely fleshed out beyond surface details (in fairness, perhaps a deliberate mechanic to ensure the viewer is very much alone with Alice) however such is the magnitude of her portrayal that it is actually one of the most moving things you’ll see all year.

Just don’t expect to enjoy it.

Trailer Trash: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Let’s face it – this time of year for movies is fucking shit. Awards season is gone, it’s still too early for the spring/summer blockbusters and the Valentines Day Rom-Com dross is still clinging on in multiplexes everywhere, causing even the most devoted of couples question whether it’s really worth it.

It’s not all bad news though, as it’s around about now that the year’s most exciting trailers start coming thick and fast, so what better time for another edition of Trailer Trash? A long awaited Marvel sequel; George Clooney; The Rock in a helicopter; Finland. What more could you possibly want?

Avengers: Age of Ultron, released 23rd April

Whenever a new Marvel film is released it’s about as close to a box office sure thing as you can get – little wonder then that the Avengers Assemble sequel will be the 11th Marvel Studios release in 7 years. The Marvel executives are so cocksure and delirious as they roll around on their piles of cash that they’re even releasing something called Ant Man, just for a fucking laugh.

Recent output from the studio (the terrifically fun Guardians of the Galaxy notwithstanding) has been a little disappointing if we’re honest with ourselves, even given the orgasms of explosions and CGI they are always chock-full of.

Avengers Assemble though, helmed brilliantly by Joss Whedon, was an exception, and so it is with more than a degree of excitement that this preview smashes us in the face like a huge cyborg dildo. With AI.

The whole gang is back together – this time with the addition of none other than Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany and Idris Elba to name just a few – and Ultron looks like it has the potential to be a great villain.

San Andreas, released 29th May

Speaking of humanity getting a hammering, San Andreas will arrive kicking, screaming and generally making a right old fuss in May.

We’ve seen a few films here at TOTB that have made us wish the ground would open up and swallow Hollywood whole, and in this latest offering from Brad Peyton – a director whose previous output includes Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, and not much else – looks to do just that.

It’s more than a little reminiscent of 2012, the movie that bored the infamous Mayan prophecy into not happening, except this one’s got Dwayne Johnson in it! The bloody Rock, flying a helicopter, dragging women out of rubble, dodging earthquakes and punching tsunamis square in the face.

It probably won’t take itself too seriously, but then these big budget disaster movies rarely do, and it’s still typically not enough to stop them from being as dull as they are loud. Stay in and watch Sharknado instead.

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, released 22nd May

“What if there was a place. A secret place – where NOTHING was impossible?”

If that line isn’t enough to make you want to reach inside your brain and take out whichever bit is responsible for hearing before you are subjected to anymore of it, then the fact that Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is based on one of Disney World’s five theme parks just might tip you over the edge.

This of course isn’t the first time Disney has based a film around one of their attractions – the fifth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is due in 2017 – and we probably have a certain Ms. Everdeen to thank, at least in part, for spawning this George Clooney vehicle. An unlikely young heroine chosen to fight against… something or other. It’s the sort of narrative that Hollywood has been gorging itself on recently, and a full franchise is no doubt planned if this becomes a commercial success.

Big Game, released 8th May

Absolutely everything about Big Game looks completely, intelligence-insultingly ridiculous – from the leather-attired bad guy to Samuel L. Jackson being the President – so how come we’re sort of looking forward to it?

It debuted at last year’s Toronto film festival and was reasonably well received by critics – considering how low it’s aiming – who embraced its over-the-top entertainment value.

Big Game may well hit that particular ‘So-good-it’s-bad’ sweet spot which made Snakes on a Plane such a cult favourite.

TV Review: The Benefits Estate

We’ve got a little bit of a liberal bent here at Think Outside the Box. Nothing too extreme of course, just a general opinion that the poor, disabled people or anyone who may fall under the umbrella of ‘a bit foreign’, shouldn’t be blamed for every problem in the country, so imagine our delight when we stumbled across The Benefits Estate (Channel 5, Tuesday 9 pm), a documentary sure to cast a spotlight on the hardship faced by one of the most disadvantaged groups in society.

Benefit’s Street did a pretty good job of rousing the mob in all its visceral, finger-pointing and fist-waving ignorance, but then that level of mouth-frothing anger can’t be sustained by one street alone. I mean, it’s enough to make you think that maybe that programme WASN’T representative of a significant section of society.

“There are loads of streets in the UK,” a flaming pitchfork-wielding member of the baying mob might say.

“There are five in my village – as well as that one where the vicar lives and where we hold the summer fetes –  and I can name at least three more, so what does one dodgy one really matter?”

By way of an answer, Channel 5 brings us this veritable orgy of Poverty Porn that seeks to remind us just how awful this part of society really is.

Good news though! This is Dublin, so it’s Irish tax payers footing the bill for such extravagances as packets of crisps and clothes. Too bad Channel 5, you’re not going to get any feral Twitter buzz with this one…

Benefits Estate Tweet 2Benefits Estate Tweet 3Benefits Estate Tweet 4

If you had the displeasure of watching The Benefits Estate you too, surely, would feel such guttural outpourings of rage, with the local community living in such opulence that it’s any wonder why City of London bankers don’t just upsticks to their nearest council estate.

Look at them with their bloody leather sofas and obesity and carpet – our flooring’s all laminate, we don’t have any carpet. And look at all that rubbish piling up! They must’ve bought loads of stuff and just thrown it away, the ungrateful proles. Such decadent lifestyles should only be reserved for Victorian peasants, paedophiles and goats.

Poor Person

Poor People – Eating your bit of old food.

But perhaps we’re being unfair. Does it trigger the sort of Twitter reaction that makes you sometimes wish Ebola had reached the UK? Sure, but maybe that’s a more habitual feeling that has been perpetuated elsewhere.

Tonally, The Benefits Estate isn’t particularly sneering, and the narrator even sounds somewhat empathetic to the programme’s various unfortunate protagonists, but the reasons for the ingrained social problems in this particular community aren’t explored in anything beyond surface detail. The briefest mention of mental health issues and sound bites like “running a household on benefits is a constant struggle” feel planted to trigger an incredulous reaction; easy to pass off as nothing more than excuses for doing fuck all.

It’s certainly not as hateful as Benefits Street, and it makes a noticeable shift in the second half hour to something much more compassionate – a change that was duly acknowledged by a shift in social media sentiment – but the motivations for making The Benefits Estate are still questionable.

There is a programme to be made about the true face of Benefits Britain – but this isn’t it.