It's not pretty to watch once-popular shows and their stars drag things on years beyond their relevance. Everything that's hot, hip, and new right now -- the media creations that set tongues wagging -- they're all headed for their respective versions of Vegas Elvis. Even Top Gear, regarded by many to be the best car programming of all time, has a Bedazzled jumpsuit hiding somewhere in the wardrobe trailer.

Presenter Richard Hammond has said that he, James May, and Jeremy Clarkson have discussed how the show should go out. An exit at the top of its game without undue fanfare seems to be the prevailing wisdom; the only trouble will be knowing when that time is without overshooting it.

Rather than have an over-the-top final episode extravaganza, Top Gear will end its run like a regular signoff, at least if Hammond's vision becomes the plan for closure. Instead of a show full of surprises, the biggest surprise of all will be that there are no more shows forthcoming. Ending TG sounds sad, but it would likely not hold the boys back. The success of Top Gear has opened other doors for the presenters and given them status as media personalities that now makes it possible for numerous side gigs. Hammond himself has several irons in the fire in addition to Top Gear, so even if the program goes out at its zenith, we may yet see the Hamster in that jumpsuit, if only for some stunt on one of his other shows.

[Source: Times Online | Image: Gareth Cattermole/Getty]