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Gallery: behind the scenes at this Sunday's Top Gear!

  1. Unless you’ve been trapped in a lead-lined shipping container for the last month, you’ll know that Top Gear is returning to your telly screens this weekend with a brand-new, bumper-sized series.

    Series 22 kicks off this weekend at 8pm on BBC Two - and simultaneously in many other corners of the globe - and, to whet your arid appetites in preparation, we went behind the scenes at filming for the first episode.

    There was some crashing. There were some very blue shoes. There was a great deal of bickering. Business as usual, then, and it’s all captured in this exclusive behind-the-scenes gallery.

    To kick us off, here’s Britain’s best-selling male artist of 2014 meeting some bloke called Ed.

    Pictures: Mark Yeoman

  2. “Brake, turn in, bite head from duck. Brake, turn in, bite head from duck…” Mr Sheeran attempts to memorise the Stig’s driving mantras.

  3. Ed looks nervous. So does photogenic TG producer Nick Dalton. Not surprising, really - Sheeran doesn’t have a driving licence. Erk.

  4. “The Blue Man Group called. They want their shoes back.” TG telly big boss Andy Wilman dispenses fashion advice to Captain Slow.

  5. May enjoys a few moments of blessed silence after betting Clarkson he can’t hold his breath for a whole minute.

  6. “I don’t know why you keep calling me an American. I’m as British as, um, the new Ford GT…” Billy-Bob Hammond responds angrily to scurrilous accusations that he’s a bit of a Americophile.

  7. Installed at great expense for Series 22, meet our astonishingly lifelike ‘Shocked Hammond’ waxwork. James seems impressed. Jeremy less so.

  8. “I can hear you, Clem Fandango…” James fervently prays the voices in his head are coming from an earpiece and not beyond the grave.

    Top Gear Series 22 kicks off at 8pm on BBC Two in the UK, and simultaneously in more than 50 other countries. For details, click here.

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