Driving the dictator
Another classic trip from 20 years of TG mag: delivering Admiral General Aladeen to a big telly interview.
Posted: 28 Oct 2013
It began smoothly enough. We met Leo and the Prombron off the Chunnel (10 hours behind schedule – Leo forgot his satnav and ended up doing a few impromptu laps of Holland) and took him on a quick London tour before heading for the Playboy Club: requisite behaviour in a car built for a fictional despot.
And now, after some bunny-chat and glitzy photos, our Dartz time seems done: tomorrow, the movie’s official promoters are planning some ‘stunts’ around London with Sacha and the Prombron, but they have informed us in no uncertain terms that TopGear is banned from this. No journalists, no photos: the car will be driven by a Russian guard. We bribed, we begged, we offered Playboy bunnies; the movie bigwigs didn’t budge. Almost like we’ve got a reputation for messing these things up. At 2am, we bid farewell to Leo, and wished him luck for tomorrow.
At 6.30am the next morning, my phone rings. “Get your f***ing arse to hotel!” It is Leo, hissing in the clenched-teeth fashion only ever seen in movies. “Quick, now!”