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Jeremy and James on TV in the new year

With no Top Gear special over Christmas this year (although you won’t have to wait too long…), we bring you instead festive tidings of where else you can see Jeremy and James over the holidays.

First up is Jeremy’s documentary on the heroic Merchant and Royal Navy arctic convoys, who delivered war supplies from Britain to the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945.

“We focus on one convoy in particular – PQ17. It took off from Iceland in June 1942 and became one of the most infamous naval disasters of the 20th century,” explains producer Dan Trelford.

“We slept on board the boat; but we didn’t get a lot of sleep because we were going through rough seas. Whenever we weren’t filming we were trying to get warm inside.

“Jeremy did a piece to camera where he said ‘I’m wearing countless layers and polar clothing and it’s absolutely bitterly cold. It’s almost impossible to do anything on deck for any length of time.’ He got a real sense for what it would be like if you were out there on watch, looking out for German planes. For him, walking around on the deck for any amount of time was bad enough, if you were at war under those circumstances it would be absolutely terrifying.”

PQ17: An Arctic Convoy Disaster is on BBC Two, 9pm, January 2 in the UK.

And the very next day, you can see James in his latest high-octane Toy Stories special. Captain Slow puts an iconic toy to the most ambitious test ever attempted. The challenge: to build a motorbike and side car entirely out of Meccano to take on the Isle of Man’s legendary TT circuit.

But designing a machine capable of carrying James and his passenger, wine expert Oz Clarke, around the daunting 37 mile course is not a task for the faint-hearted.

A mind-bending 15,000 pieces of Meccano must be assembled to create a full-size, road-legal motorcycle that James hopes will be more than a match for the treacherous twists and turns, steep climbs and dizzying descents of the world’s toughest race circuit.

And if that isn’t hard enough, as in the real TT, the bike must race against the clock…

James May’s Toy Stories is on BBC Two, 9pm, January 3 in the UK.

You can watch the trailer below, and we’ll see you all back in 2014 for series 21 of Top Gear. Have a great Christmas!

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