She doesn’t hasn’t even landed the job as Jeremy Clarkson’s replacement on BBC’s “Top Gear,” and she may not get it, but Sue Perkins has already caught the ire of the Internet and left Twitter because of it.
“Top Gear” is the internationally popular show about cars and driving that was, until recently, hosted by Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.
Perkins is an actress and comedian who co-hosts the daytime talk show “Mel & Sue” with Mel Giedroyc.
They’re a longtime show-business duo with a background in sketch comedy, similar to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who also host the popular cooking competition show “Great British Bake Off.”
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Perkins became one of the rumored front runners for replacing Clarkson when British bookies declared it so, giving her the best odds at getting the gig.
Model Jodie Kidd is another favorite for the job, along with Dermot O'Leary and Philip Glenister.
Perkins denied that she was taking the job on Twitter, but that didn’t make much difference.
Trolls targeted Perkins with sexist invective and death threats. There was overlap with people who were angered by the BBC’s decision not to renew Clarkson’s contract because of his history of offensive behavior, culminating in Clarkson punching “Top Gear” producer Oisin Tymon.
Clarkson was fired March 25.
May, whose future on the show is also in question, came to Perkins’s defense:
“If you’re one of the people sending death threats to @sueperkins could you please do the world a much bigger favour by killing yourself.”
“Obviously I don’t actually want people to kill themselves but, really, we don’t want them as fans.”