In a recent interview on the Late Brake Show presented by Jonny Smith, Chris Harris of Top Gear has just revealed that he was forced to seek help after his mental health deteriorated after he began presenting the BBC car show.
“It’s mental health awareness time,” Harris tells Smith while sitting on two old leather chairs in one of the presenter’s sheds. “It got me, it absolutely got me.”
He continued: “It didn’t get me at the time.
“It took a while for the lag effect of how bad it was to get to me, and yeah, I got some help in the end.”
Top Gear began after Jeremy Clarkson’s contract was not renewed by the BBC to a huge amount of hate from die-hard fans who love the original trio. This obviously had a huge effect on Chris Harris, who is a well-respected part of the motoring community with experience in large magazines such as EVO and AutoCar Magazine, as well as his YouTube show, Chris Harris on Cars.
“People who know me, I’m a pretty tough cookie, but after a while…” he says.
“If a few other things in your life go South, then the abuse, and it is abuse, it’s not criticism, by the time people are just sending you messages, not even on the back of content, just saying ‘you’re a p***k, you’ve ruined Top Gear for me, I’ll never forgive you’… once they’re doing that, that is abuse.
“And if you’re in a good place, and the sun’s out, and the rest of your life is rosy, you can see that and you can ignore it.
“Or, as is more likely the case, you won’t see it because you won’t go looking for it because your life is so busy and positive you don’t need to look at the messages.
“But when you’re sat there with a glass of whisky one night, oh woe is me, and you read the messages and you’re like… So I did pick up the phone, go and see someone, and I had to sit down.
“And y’know what, I’m still doing that now. Not because I’m in a really bad place, but because I need it because it’s relentlessly negative.”
This is incredibly sad to hear. We here at GTN personally love Top Gear, and have been watching the new series closely. But regardless of whether you like, or dislike the new version of the popular car show, this kind of hate and abuse is not only unnecessary, but disgusting.
If you ever feel the need to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Samaritans. Every seven seconds, they respond to a call for help. No judgement. No pressure. They’rere here for anyone who needs someone.