Entertainment TV Top Gear: calls for Alan Partridge to replace Clarkson
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Top Gear: calls for Alan Partridge to replace Clarkson

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Top Gear critic Steve Coogan is at the centre of a push to bring a new face to the series: Alan Partridge.

The fictional talk show host known for his cross-dressing fantasies and awkward interactions is the subject of a change.org petition with nearly 13,000 signatories. The petition aims for 15,000 signatures.

The show’s hosts have been in a number of scandals, including raising the ire of Mexico, Argentina, Burma, the disabled and gay men.

‘There is no Top Gear without Clarkson’

But Jeremy Clarkson’s latest error was the last straw as he hit one of the show’s producers because they had arrived at a restaurant too late to buy a sirloin steak.

Clarkson was suspended, raising the question of who would take over hosting duties.

The petition’s instigator Lorn Macdonald expressed his gratitude on Twitter as the numbers raced past 10,000 on Tuesday night Australian time.

Alan Partridge hosted a season of his show Knowing Me, Knowing You on the deadpan satire BBC series before his relegation to mid-mornings on Radio Norwich.

His saga recently was extended onto a hostage-drama movie Alpha Papa, where vehicles played an important part.

“Alan has a strong track record for broadcast presenting, from his relaxed professionalism with guests on BBC chat show ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ to his effortless banter on his talk shows at Radio Norwich.” Mr Macdonald wrote on Change.org.

“He has good experience with motoring TV, after his brilliant work on ‘Crash! Bang! Wallop! (What a video)’. His work as sports presenter on news programme ‘The Day Today’ also shows off his ability to talk about and inform on a range of topics.”

Behind the mask, Partridge’s inventor Coogan is a car enthusiast with a whip-smart sense of humour. He has appeared on Top Gear during its first season racing their reasonably priced car and beating Ross Kemp to come third. He has appeared on the show two more times.

But he has since criticised the show in 2011 over one of its racism scandals.

The show’s hosts made racist comments about Mexican people, including the country’s ambassador.

The Observer newspaper ran an opinion piece he penned in which he said the show was attacking Mexico because the hosts thought they wouldn’t fight back.

“If I can borrow from the Wildean wit of Richard Hammond, the comic approach was “lazy”, “feckless” and “flatulent”,” Coogan wrote.

A petition to reinstate Clarkson was confirmed as the fastest-growing petition they had hosted to the Independent newspaper.

It had 957,000 signatories on Wednesday.

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