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Show 1: the details
Anybody read the papers this week? You may have come across a few choice headlines: ‘TopGear gets serious’, ‘Angry BBC bosses order TopGear to tone down crazy stunts’, ‘TopGear headed for scrapheap - current line-up to be replaced’, ‘Monkey breaks Nurburgring lap record in Prius’, ‘Clarkson causes massive sinkhole in Reading’.
I could go on, but the fact is nobody ordered us to tone down anything, nobody’s going anywhere, nobody forgot to film the crazy stunts, and a monkey didn’t break the lap record in a Prius. It was a Lotus.
What actually happened is James, Richard and I gave some reasoned interviews talking about this and that, as you do, and then some hacks from the Star and Mirror came back from a massive lunch, realised they had to fill some space and thought, ‘I know, we’ll mangle all these sentences up until they say something completely different. Then we’ll go back for another pint of lunch.’
You’ve got to laugh, eh? But in case you’re not sure, try to catch some of show 1 on Sunday, in which there’s very little seriousness whatsoever. We’ve just finished putting it together now, and we like it. We like it lots. The studio crowd were on the boil, the boys were firing on all cylinders, Hammond wore a terrible shirt, and the films hit the spot.
First up is a test of the mental Bentley Continental Footballermobile, which is a cracking piece of cinematography, then James nearly combusts as he tries to drive the TopGear volcano-proof car up that volcano in Iceland. Got stranded in Alicante when the planes were grounded? Blame El Capitan Slow.
Hammondicus then says goodbye in some style to our old Reasonably Priced Car – no towing away to a scrapyard with a pitbull for that machine – and then we christen the new car with some top celebs. Do not miss Louie Spence’s appearance.
Finally, we close the show with a Clarkson epic as he drives a Reliant Robin across Yorkshire. The way I’ve written that last bit, it sounds terribly boring. But just trust me, I think we’re in Peel territory with this one.
As regards everything else, well, we’ve shot some really good stuff for this run. Those of you who read these blogs regularly know I’m the first to ’fess up if we’ve done a stinker, and that I love a nice dose of pessimism - and you know I thought the last series was up and down. But I’m looking at the contents on my little wall chart thing now, and there’s some quality work here.
If you like nonsense TopGear, you’ll love the motorhomes film, because they’re the most ambitious creations we’ve come up with since the amphibious cars.
And if you like your TopGear served up with a dash more petrolheadery, then just wait for the Senna tribute we’ve shot, where we’ve got an exclusive with Lewis Hamilton driving Senna’s 1988 F1 car. We all love Lewis for the way he wears his heart on his sleeve when he races, and it’s the same when he shows his emotions for his hero.
Anyway, I’ve just read in the papers that the Stig has married Barbara Windsor, so I’d better see what’s going on. Hope you enjoy Sunday.