Top Gear producer Andy Wilman called 2014 a "horrible year." What would make him say that? Incidents included, but were not limited to, getting censured and investigated by the BBC for Jeremy Clarkson making a "light-hearted" racist joke, following that up a month later when video of Clarkson retelling a light-hearted racist nursery rhyme hit the news, being accused of mocking the scene of a fatal accident, and getting run out of Argentina over the worst case of coincidental license plate numbers ever.

Yet the money train that is the Top Gear franchise will not be stopped. Last April the UK press reported the three hosts were in line for a new three-year deal through 2018 - one that would pay Clarkson four million pounds per year - but the negotiations were put off while Britain's governmental media watchdog, Ofcom, investigated the "light-hearted" incident. That done, and even though Ofcom found Clarkson "to have breached broadcasting rules," the deal is set to go ahead that will lock in new episodes until 2018.

Excuse us for being cynical, but for all the talk of Clarkson being in "the last-chance saloon" and the giving of the show a "health-check" and the "I'd be fired if I did what Clarkson did" editorials, there was no way the BBC was going to drop the program - not when it's sending a 30-foot Stig to stand in the center of Warsaw. Top Gear is so lucrative that Clarkson's salary breaks down to 'just' one million pounds per year for hosting the show, and three million pounds per year as continuing payment for the commercial rights that he once owned but sold to the BBC two years ago for 8.4 million pounds. That kind of money doesn't talk - it sings.

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