Jeremy Clarkson, the enormously tall, bouffant-haired presenter of Top Gear is a simple man.
Loved by millions, he is guided only by Ten Commandments. No, not the Old Testament Commandments; something far more relevant that he probably wrote on the back of a fag packet, and keeps in the back pocket of his stone-washed jeans.
Luckily we managed to get hold of a copy of them, so read on if you want to live your life according to the rules of Clarkson!
1. Thou Shalt Not Walk Anywhere
A simple one. You must always drive wherever you are going. Walking is for Guardian-readers, public transport is for poor people and cycling is for people like Richard Hammond, and you don’t want to be like him, do you?
If your route is blocked by, say, a pavement or a doorway, then just buy a micro-car like an old Messerschmitt. Yes, it’s very small, and no, it hasn’t got a stonking great V8 engine in it, but it’s small enough to fit into your office lift and if it means that you’ll never have to walk again…
2. Thou Shalt Not Use The Devil’s Fluid
No, not that; I mean diesel. Not only do diesel-powered cars smell funny and make a horrid noise, they are too slow.
In his book Born to be Riled he says of a diesel driver: “he drops a cog to get that hideously inefficient engine into the upper echelons of its miserable power band … it’s hard to tell he’s done this because, obviously, there’s no discernible change in pace.” ‘Nuff said?
3. Thou shalt Not Visit Norfolk
I’m not sure why he detests Norfolk so much but it might have something to do with it having no motorways, hardly any petrol stations and being impossible to get to. You’d think that being home to Lotus Cars would have changed his mind, wouldn’t you?
But no, even being the home to the Elise and Exige isn’t enough to stop him from saying that you should avoid it unless you like “orgies and the ritual slaying of farmyard animals”.
4. Thou Shall Worship Bob Segar
Clarkson is famous for his love of dodgy 1970s prog-rock but when asked what six CDs he’d have in his autochanger for a drive across Europe five out of the six were Bob Segar. (The sixth was the Doobie Brothers, in case you were wondering.)
5. Thou Shalt Not Drive Front-Wheel Drive Cars
Clarkson loves his rear-wheel drive cars and won’t drive anything else – unless, of course, it’s an Alfa Romeo, or a Peugeot 205 GTI, or a VW Polo GTi, all of which can be forgiven for their inability to shred their rear tyres while doing doughnuts…
6. Thou Shall Worship The Range Rover
A big V8 petrol engine, British-made (just), go-anywhere ability, and the eco-mentalists hate them. He dedicated his book Driven to Distraction to “Everyone who made my Range Rover” and went on to say “Well done chaps. It’s brilliant.”
7. Thou Shall Be As Offensive As Possible About Foreigners
If you go to America then you must refer to it as the “Land of the brave … home of the dim”, in Vietnam you must remind them of the war and in Holland you must assume that everyone takes drugs and indulges in man-love.
Germans are “Nazis”, Koreans all eat dogs and the Mexicans are “lazy” and Mexico “doesn’t have an Olympic team… because anyone who can run, jump or swim is already across the border”.
His most offensive comment, though, was reserved for Ethiopia, when he said that a particular car: “should be avoided like unprotected sex with an Ethiopian transvestite.”
8. Thou Shall Worship The Toyota Hilux
As well as getting him, James May and half-a-dozen Quail’s eggs to the magnetic North Pole (and beating Hammond there, which was the best bit) Clarkson also tested another Hilux by crashing it, burning it, drowning it and dropping it off a tower block, none of which could kill it.
The remains (still capable of being driven) are displayed in the Top Gear studio.
9. Thou Shall Run A Dictatorship
The Top Gear “Cool Wall” is the very model of good taste. The test “would Kristin Scott Thomas be impressed if you picked her up in it?” (although Kristin has been replaced recently by Fiona Bruce after she displayed some odd attitudes towards cars and said that she owned a Honda Civic…) is rigorously applied and Hammond and Clarkson generally agree on what’s cool and what isn’t.
However, if they disagree then Clarkson has the casting vote as he claims that he never said that Top Gear was a democracy. (He will also put the cards high up to stop Hammond moving them too!)
10. Thou Must Hate Piers Morgan
Piers ran two pictures in The Mirror showing Jeremy allegedly kissing a woman. Jeremy responded by punching him in the face at the British Press Awards and throwing water over him during Concorde’s last flight. Mind you, doesn’t hitting Piers just make us love him even more?