The luckiest man alive today, according to motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson, is motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson. Armed with, he says, nothing more than ‘half a qualification in journalism and the engineering ability of a sparrow’ (Clarkson, 2005) he has risen from the obscurity of a local newspaper, the Rochdale Advertiser, to unrivalled prominence as an automotive critic. Luck may have played its part, but nobody should underestimate the talent and sheer hard work that made the most of the good fortune. Now, as mainstay of the BBC's Top Gear motoring TV show and its monthly magazine spin-off, and contributor of opinionated, anarchic columns to The Sunday Times and the Sun, Clarkson has become without doubt the best-known motoring journalist – in the world.