Massacre of the TV presenters

I do hope poor Richard Hammond is going to be okay. The amphibious vehicle film from Top Gear was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on TV. I just adore the interplay between the three presenters, the way they constantly send up each other’s testosterone-fuelled excesses. In these days of global warming it’s probably very immoral to enjoy Top Gear but you’ve just gotta love’em.

First Steve Irwin, now this. Looks like maybe reality TV is pushing people over the edge a little bit? But, as Alison Hargreaves, who died on Everest, allegedly said, “It is better to live one day as a tiger than a thousand days as a sheep.”

There’ll always be people who do insanely dangerous things. I used to work at the British Mountaineering Council about 17 years ago with a wonderfully vibrant, crazy bunch of guys. It’s terrifying to Google them up now and see how many are dead.

As for Steve Irwin, he was never really my cup of tea but he seems to be Oz’s Princess Diana. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. Some people just seem to sum up a nation’s character so completely that the mourning when they die goes beyond personal into a howl of collective identity.

Goodbye, Crocodile Hunter. Farewll, Steve.

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