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In the cycle of production that makes a new Top Gear pop onto your Sunday night telly, Wednesday is filming day (and you can see what that was like in our rehearsal gallery) but Tuesday is writing day.
All three presenters turn up to TG’s London offices in good time – this week Hammond was especially early, announcing his arrival with the gigglingly self-referential words ‘I was the first to get here’ – and they spend the day knocking the script into shape, fed only by a constant supply of hot beverages and crisps.
Tuesday this week went especially well. Almost as well as yesterday. There were many crisps, there was much tea and everyone seemed in excellent spirits, presumably buoyed by the rather remarkable viewing figures for the first programme (an average of 7.1 million according to the people that know these things).
But what do three top television presenters do after a hard day hammering out fresh words for a script? Well, it seems by mid-morning James’s brain was already focussed on the evening’s activities.
And what did he have in mind? An eye wateringly expensive restaurant? A media luvvies private members club? A suite at the Dorchester and an open invitation to the Danish Ladies’ Beach Volleyball and Baby Oil Testing team? No. None of those things.
“Hammond,” he said as he sipped at his cup o’ char. “Do you want to come over to mine tonight after work? You can help me fix the carburettor on my old ‘bike…”
It’s rock ‘n’ roll my friends. But not as we know it.