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First things first, I know nothing about cars. Well that's a lie, I know they come in many different shapes, sizes and colours and they run off an engine and need to be re-fed every now and again but that's about it.
All joking aside, cars weren't really my thing. I've always been more interested in sport or sitting and watching films and when all my mates were saying what new make of cars their parents had I was talking about the latest film and snoring over their conversation. That's until I caught Top Gear one day.
This was the summer of last year and I was bored one day so started to watch it on UKTV Gold and I have to say I fell in love, with the hamster and the show of course.
My reasons for watching the show were quite juvenile, I had a big crush on Richard Hammond and I still do but now I actually watch it because it has me in stitches and it actually gives a good incite to cars.
What Is the show about?
CARS! Mainly. Every week the show brings in a new car that the team test to see if it is any good. Sounds boring and it probably was until they brought together the latest presenters.
Jeremy has been with the show since the 80's, but when it was axed in 2001 and brought back later on he came back as well. The reason he works so well with his presenting style is because he tells it like he is… if a car sucks he'll say he sucks, he won't sugar coat what he's trying to say either. The car manufacturers take on a huge risk handing over their cars to Jeremy; he could either make them a lot of money, or slate their new car to thousands of people.
Richard Hammond, a.k.a the hamster-
This man is profoundly known as the hamster as he is quite short, and his co-presenters take the micky out of him for this. However despite not having a tall gene he got hit with the cute stick, he's very handsome and seems lovely.
Last year in 2006 whilst filming an episode something went wrong with the jet powered car he was driving and he was put in a coma. The show was pulled and he was left with severe brain injury and no one knew if he would pull through or not, weeks later he did and the show was put back on air and the hamster came back, no one knew if he would be the same again. His first interview was with Jonathan Ross and all seemed well, but to this day he has no recollection of that interview.
The reason Hammond works so well on this show is for me his knowledge of cars, it sounds stupid I know, how can you host a car programme without knowing about cars?, but Hammond can explain the most complex thing to people who have no idea like me.
James May a.ka. Captain Slow-
This name is perfect for this man, he joined the team a year after Hammond and Jeremy first started together and even though he doesn't look like your usual car fanatic he's a perfect addition to the team. He has no sense of direction, they could send him up to Scotland in a car and he'll end up in the South Of France and he drives 20 miles under the speed limit which means it'll take him double the time any one else, besides all that he knows his cars. He's fun to laugh at, and Jeremy and Hammond take advantage of this and take the micky out of him all the time.
No one knows who this person is, it's a closely guarded secret and according to the presenters even they don't know who he is. He takes every car that appears on the show through its paces on their track, wearing a driving suit and white helmet. No one does know who he is; he could be any one of the presenters, maybe a well known racer or maybe just someone each week they pull off the street. My mum actually thinks it's the latter, she doesn't think it's the same person each week.
Every week the show gets a new car which the presenters will either praise or annihilate and each week they get the STIG to drive it around their track to see if it compares to other cars. The good thing about this show is they tell it like it is, if the cars crap, they'll say that, if it is the best car they've ever driven they'll tell you that. Most of the time the cars that they adore, are cars that most of the public could never afford in their lifetime but it's still fun to watch them and dream.
Reasonably Priced Car
Every week Jeremy interviews someone on the show, they have a little talk for a bit before showing previously filmed footage of them driving around the track in a reasonably priced car that a normal person would drive.
Some have drove so well they could race against some of the best, some have sucked but I have to say every one of them is entertainment.
My personal favourite was Johnny Vegas, he didn't even have a license and still managed to be about 5th of the bottom, the Stig was really impressed with his driving style as well because he left foot braked, which apparently most people don't do. (I wouldn't know)
My favourite bits about this show have to be the races they do, when it's against each other or Jeremy driving his new favourite car and Hammond & May trying to beat him using some other means of transport they're fantastic.
These are the best episodes, the best one ever being when they travelled to Africa and travelled over the salt Plaines, but had to make their cars considerably lighter. I have to say I've never laughed so hard in my life; it's one of the funniest episodes to ever grace our screen. Hammond actually fell so in love with his car 'Oliver' he had him shipped back to the UK.
Another one of my personal favourites has to be the one where they travelled to America, specifically through a hicky town with 'Gay Love Rules' & 'Country & Western Rocks' written over the side of the car.
One of the most recent episodes was all four presenters travelling from one side of London to the other, Hammond was cycling, May was driving, The Stig was using public transport and Clarkson was riding a boat up the river. I'll let you guess who won, but the episode itself had us in stitches.
The aquacar episode as well was another personal favourite, theirs actually two, one about two years ago and one most recently. The boys had to make their car water friendly and get it over some water, the first time they failed so the producers thought well that was fun, lets try and get them to cross the English channel in aquacars. It was stupid, but hilarious.
The only bad thing about this is this is all after Hammonds accident last year, you'd have thought he would have been more careful now, but he's now being chased out of hicky towns and being knees deep of water in his precious 'Oliver' so no, I think he is a bit stupid sometimes, but we still love him.
Some other great episodes are the episodes where they destroy cars. Their particular favourite thing to destroy is caravans. There's one episode where they get a normal car and make it try and jump over 4 caravans.
Another particular favourite is the episode is the episode where they were testing out old rovers; they had to many tests including driving along a bumpy road with egg above their head. Then they had to have the car filled to the brim with water and they had to drive around the track and stop when the water has fallen below the steering wheel. James managed to get around the track twice and lap Hammond and Jeremy managed to go about 100 yards and his back door fell off.
Last nights episode was not their best… however Hammond got in a formula 1 racing car and had to go around the track twice… my heart was in my mouth because I didn't want him to crash.
I know most people have complained that it mainly shows cars that most of the public can't afford, but who cares. Its entertainment and it's always nice to dream.
The idea of showing super cars for under £10,000 is to say NOT to try because they will fail and you could get a perfectly working car for that price. If you want a super car you have to pay over the odds.
Each Sunday night they grace our screens at 8.00pm on Channel 2 to give us more laughs and maybe more knowledge about cars.
I think this show started out as a 'boys' show, but most of my girl mates watch this show and watch it avidly. Being in a class of 18 guys as well, it gives me a lot more to talk about as well, besides trying to beat myself over the head after they've talked about computer games for 8 long hours.
As most of you can realise I don't own a car, but hopefully by this time next year I will, and because of Top Gear I actually know what I want now.
It's a fantastic show and I'd recommend it to anyone. It's on in an hour so if you read this review before then, go watch it.