Yes, the cutting edge of cocking about reached Birmingham’s glittering NEC yesterday, as Top Gear Live kicked off its UK dates in style. There were lots of cars, lots of fire, lots of scantily clad dancers (some on fire), and Jeremy got shot in his gentleman vegetables by some snipers in front of an audience of thousands. The usual, then…
Jeremy began proceedings by driving the famous Top Gear set onto the stage. Top Gear Live veterans may have seen this before, but he’s been tinkering since last time… by installing a Corvette V8 into the set. Jeremy being Jeremy, he then decided to see if it could doughnut, which it could. Until it broke. It wasn’t meant to break, but this is Top Gear, and it’s live, so literally anything can happen.
To smooth over Jezza’s first hiccup, the Top Gear Live stunt crew entered with their very own tribute to James Bond: with the help of eight Aston Martin Cygnets. They may not be thoroughbreds, but that didn’t stop Paul Swift and his army of handbrake hooligans from driving them like they were. Trust us, you’ll never see them driven like that again. And to keep Bond purists happy during the week Skyfall is released, there were also a handful of Bond’s other Astons and some girls wearing gold spandex dancing from a bit of string.
Did you ever play conkers at school? So did we, but we don’t think you’ve played Hammond’s version of conkers. It involves a Z4 with a winch in the boot, some heavy duty cable. Oh, and James and Jeremy in Ford Fiestas on castors being flung across the floor with the help of centrifugal force and pyrotechnics, before being launched into a selection of cars/targets.
We would try and explain it, but we won’t, because Richard struggled too. But it did give him a gleeful excuse to make the other two smash into a load of cars. James won. We don’t know how he won because we don’t know how the game works. But we do know he won. Well done, James.
What also went down well was Top Gear Live’s traditional supercar catwalk. Think Milan fashion week but with less stick-thin models, worse weather and the smell of chips floating around the catwalk. Lexus LFA? Check. Mercedes CLK GTR roadster? Check. Aston Martin V12 Vantage Zagato? Check. There’s a lot more where that came from, but you’ll have to go see the show for yourself to see what they are…
And onto the undoubted hit of the evening: Jezza getting hit in his man parts by three snipers. It was a tribute to this: the time Jeremy tried to out smart the Irish Guards in a SLK 55 AMG and Porsche Boxster
The latest incarnation involves the Stig in a Caterham R500 and Jeremy in the world’s first G-Wizz convertible. There’s only one winner. And we’ll give you a hint – it wasn’t Jeremy.
And how to top off a night that has more explosions than a KISS concert, a Top Trumps worth of Supercars and our three boys playing their new favourite game, sidecar polo? How about a brand new world record? Yes, last night also saw the first ever double loop-the-loop on a motorcycle… in the world.
So - any TG.commers heading to the NEC this weekend? Let us know what you thought in the handy space below and remember to Tweet, Facebook and Instagram your #TopGearLive experience and it’ll be shown on THIS big digital screen.
See you there…
Words: Rowan Horncastle