The date is 20 October 2002. Broadcasting for the first time on BBC2 is a little show called Top Gear, rebooted after its original incarnation died in 1999.
In the last 10 years, many things have occurred. Namely, a lot of cocking about by three middle-aged men during 147 episodes created over 18 series, which have included seven, hour-long ‘specials’.
Jezza, James and Richard have literally gone all around the world to bring you, our 350 million viewers, some form of entertainment. We’ve blown things up, made Captain Slow go fast and made endless jokes about Richard Hammond having his teeth whitened.
There have been 220 power laps, proving that an Ariel Atom V8 is the fastest thing around the Top Gear Test Track, while a pedal-powered Porsche Pain au Chocolat is the slowest. 168 laps of our test track have been completed by Stars in Our Reasonably Priced Cars: 57 in the Lacetti, 34 in the C-Apostrophe-D and 77 in the Liana. We’ve even had 12 F1 drivers try and prove that they’ve got the best line through the first corner in order to beat our man Stig.
In order to say thank you for your support over the last decade, we tried ranking our top 10 moments, but it ended with some shouting and a painful incident involving a pineapple. So instead, we’ve simply chosen some of the best. If you disagree, or would like to add yours, feel free to express yourself in the comments below.
By the way, do you want to know where the Top Facts on the following pages are from? Well, they’re from the book Ambitious But Rubbish: The Secrets Behind Top Gear’s Craziest Creations - and happily, if you want more reminiscing, you can buy now.