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So, no Top Gear this week thanks to some men playing billiards or something, but in the absence of TG proper you might have spotted an amusing parody of Jeremy, Richard and James during BBC1’s The Impressions Show on Saturday night.

The sketch was modelled on the Beeb’s long running sit-com Last of The Summer Wine which, for readers outside of the UK who have never had to endure such a thing, was a series in which three ageing blokes wandered around getting on each other’s nerves until one of them somehow ended up careering downhill in a bathtub on wheels.

You can see why the writers at The Impressions Show made the parallel with TG. In fact, their sketch even used the same knowing title – Last Of The Summer Petrol – that has often been bandied around the Top Gear production office as an alternative label for the programme that’s made there.

The whole sketch was done with what appeared to be a certain amount of affection but it did highlight a common perception of Top Gear these days – that it’s all rather silly and set-up, all the better to ensure that at least one of the presenters ends up poking the wrong way out of an old shopping trolley careering towards a big pile of horse manure or something. In other words, it’s a bit contrived.

With this in mind, and in the absence of anything else to talk about this week, The Mole implores you to watch the Top Gear Bolivia special which airs in a couple of weeks - December 27th at 7:45pm on BBC Two.

In it you will see some of the finest and all-too-genuine bits of comedy from Clarkson, Hammond and May including Richard’s anger with a large and noisy insect in his car, Jeremy’s properly brave and/or stupid attempts to do his ‘POWEEEEER’ routine above the sheer drops of the Death Road, and James’s inadvertent enactment of a comedy fall that would make Laurel & Hardy wince. And all of it is absolutely, genuinely as-it-happened stuff that’ll make you remember why you loved The Tall One, The Short One, and The Other One in the first place.

If you do nothing else this Christmas, remember to watch the Top Gear Bolivia special. Although really, if you’re doing nothing else this Christmas you may want to consider how mean spirited you are. Or perhaps whether you have a drink problem.

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