Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Friday, 10 June 2016

Top Gear

No, not an article about some miracle piece of equipment, but Top Gear, the TV show.

I went to the studios to watch the show being made this Wednesday. I've watched a few shows being made, it's an occasional thing when we get the offer of free tickets through the applause store for a show we really want to go and see.

The opportunity arose for Top Gear. It's a show that interests me and I wanted to see if the rumours of chaos in the studio was of any substance (which they aren't, by the way, things were pretty slick in the studio).  The only thing I'd like to see is some presenters with charisma. The main duo of Chris and Matt are fine, even Sabine Schmitt has unusually for a German a sense of humour, but the other presenters... who are they, and how did they get the job? I've no interest in them. Maybe if they'd been properly introduced, and maybe their car-related history bared for the population we'd have more of a connection, but for now they leave me cold. Don't know who they are, not interested, I don't even know how they got the job or how qualified they are to do it, unless they are just there to tick the diversity box. I assume one must be gay then.

Well, like any news story, its probably more fabrication than anything. Things went ok in the studio and more importantly stepdaughter Christine got to get within smelling distance of Matt LeBlanc. He also waved back at her when she waved to him outside. A highlight of her life apparently... she leads such a sheltered life. :-)

Anyway, as always it's interesting to see how these things get made. What you see on the telly is the result of literally hundreds of people being involved. I'm not talking about the audience (of which there are hundreds) but The security, catering, studio floor staff, the administrators, producers, etc. involved in making a couple of people the focus of a 1 hour TV show.

Couple the local stuff with the outside recordings they do across the world, it must cost an obscene amount to produce the show... just think what a resourceful skint sailor could do with just a fraction of that. World Cruise anyone??

In fact it surprises me there aren't any programs out there dedicated to boats and boating. I mean, there is so much diversity when it comes to boating: Sailing, from Skinters like me, up to the Multi-Million Squid super yachts, the actual super yachts, power boats, dinghies, Commercial boats, canal boats, the broads..... the list is endless.

Combining the program with a round the world race, with weekly live chats to skippers, visiting the ARC when it arrives in the Caribbean, the Jester challenge when it arrives in the Azores or wherever, chasing the live-aboards round the world... basically everything and everywhere. Investigative reporting could look into why keels fall off so many expensive yachts, kit could be reviewed.

There are enough characters in boating to interview as well.

The Round the Island race, with thousands of boats confined in the Solent, is a spectacle made for telly, but it surprises me that not one TV channel covers it.


  1. You are correct. It is difficult to find boating content on television. This is where YouTube and blogs have been filling the gap. Thanks for doing your part!

  2. To their credit the BBC are streaming the sailing world championships this afternoon on their sports page. Being the BBC you might have to use something to hide your IP address if you want to watch it as they don't like people outside the UK watching their programs.

  3. Of course don't forget the start of the Round the Island Race is streamed here

    It's a bit early for you guys across the Atlantic so you may not want to watch it live in the middle of the night, but last year it was spectacular.

    The only thing we have regularly on TV at the Moment is Timothy West and Prunella Scales boating around the canals of Britain on channel 4.

    We could do with something more! But I don't put my blog up there with a proper TV series, not that many people want to watch some old duffer do his boat up. :-)