A video of Jeremy Clarkson assembling a medium-sized cardboard box has been watched more than 1.4million times.
The video, posted by fellow The Grand Tour and ex-Top Gear presenter James May and filmed in portrait, shows each of the presenters attempting to make a DHL box, with each attempt timed.
Richard Hammond (aka The Hamster) and May (aka Captain Slow) manage to assemble the box in around 20 seconds, a respectable time for a task never undertaken by either of them.
When it comes to Clarkson’s go, the task goes, erm, rather badly. For starters, he makes what he calls a landing craft and then manages to make a box ─ except it’s completely wrong and May disqualifies it.
He then runs off to find a hammer for reasons unknown (he can be heard shouting in the background: “who’s stolen my hammer?) before admitting he’s “not a practical man, I’m the first to admit it” to which May sarcastically replies, “really?”.
Another minute or so later and Clarkson finally manages the task, having been mocked and laughed at by his co-stars for being so rubbish throughout. Total time: three minutes and twenty two seconds.
The video is a subtle slice of marketing for the trio’s Amazon Prime show The Grand Tour, having all departed from Top Gear, and is a reminder of the chemistry sorely missing from the reinvented Top Gear that stars Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc to name two of its six presenters.
Adding salt to the wound is the fact the Clarkson DHL box challenge video, uploaded just four days ago, has already amassed half of the television audience of episode two of Top Gear, which fell by a third to 2.8 million ─ although, as Evans points out, viewing habits have shifted online.
With 24,510 likes and a mere 307 dislikes at the time of writing, compared with the dislike-heavy trailers released by the BBC for the new Top Gear, it appears Clarkson’s grasp on the viewing public is as strong as ever.
One commenter on the video lashed out at the Beeb, saying: ” This is immensely funnier than that garbage new Top Gear with that annoying ginger.”
Another was similarly harsh: “Well, it’s official: Jeremy Clarkson ineptly making a box for 3 minutes is more entertaining than 2 entire episodes of Top Gear 2016.”
Whether or not the Clarkson love translates into Amazon Prime subscriptions remains to be seen. If not, that alleged £160 million price paid by Amazon for three years of The Grand Tour will make Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos more shouty than Evans.
Now that Fifth Gear is on the rocks, having two motoring shows instead of one should make petrolheads happy, especially with Rory Reid and Chris Harris set to properly feature in episode 3 of the new Top Gear.
Yet it seems the new Top Gear‘s frosty reception will frosty for some time. How long exactly? Not as long as it would take Clarkson to build an Ikea flat pack, one would hope.
The new Top Gear returns for its third episode on Sunday at 8pm on BBC Two. Meanwhile The Grand Tour will begin in the Autumn, with South Africa’s Johannesburg named as the first port of call.
Until then, watch the video below and then check out our round-up of Clarkson being Clarkson.