I’m sorry it’s my first scribble session for this run, because I do like a blog, but it has literally been horrible getting this series together. After the summer run we all split to do stuff, which meant we didn’t reconvene until September and had just eight weeks to get films done for eight shows.
That’s tight enough as it is to think, plan, shoot and edit the loads of films we need, but when Jezzer bounces in back from his holiday in Vietnam and says, ‘Chaps, pack your bags, it’s one hour special time,’ then the whole sorry timetable goes even more shit.
The thing is though, good things can come of a kick bollock scramble. Watch a newspaper office in full fury as it rushes towards a deadline and it’s a wondrous thing to behold; gut instinct takes over from navel gazing. And I think, likewise, we’ve delivered on several occasions during this run.
I liked the lorries show, loved America, didn’t like the Avantime programme – sorry about that one – and I was worried people would get bored by the pace of Blackpool, even though we had faith in the premise.
But folks seemed to like it, and now the films are getting finished, I’m perking up about the rest of the run. This week’s show is, for example, all action.
Richard celebrates the 40th birthday of the Ferrari Daytona by racing it along the Riviera against James in the most mental boat, and although it’s not designed to be one of our big significant races, I do believe it is just the frothy tonic you need for a Sunday night if you’re a) going to work on Monday, or b) eight years old.
Jeremy has a blitzer of a track test in the can with the Lexus IS-F against the BMW M3, and on top of that we find out what’s the best bus for London – Top Gear style – with some roll cages and Touring Car drivers.
Again, it’s not quantum physics with Melvyn Bragg, but basically, just park your IQ for this Sunday’s show.
As for the following weeks, Jeremy has just shot a road test for the Fiesta the like of which has never been done on a car show ever ever ever. It starts as an homage to William Woollard, and then goes stratospheric from there. After that, to finish, Vietnam. I’ll go into that more in another blog, but so far I think it’s good.
I was having my usual trawl of the websites on Sunday night – no, not those ones – Final Gear, Top Gear, and I’ve started having a look at Hammond Heaven, just cos it still amazes me how any girl from this solar system can find those three attractive.
Interestingly, one of the Hammond Heaveners was wondering whether the spark still existed between the lads. It’s a good point, and the answer is yes it does, but it’s probably harder for that spark to shine than it was three years ago.
With Top Gear Live and all the other stuff they do, they are utterly knackered now, and that’s just the physical side. On top of that I suppose there’s the whole pressure of trying to deliver on a regular basis.
We do take Top Gear very very seriously, and given that it does get harder to come up with stuff, harder to surprise and delight, you quickly lose the innocence that we had when we set out to film, say, Crap Porsches or Pendine Sands.
The result of that is that sometimes we try too hard, but luckily our clever fans spot it and pull us up. It’s no accident that the films that go down the best are not necessarily the ones where everything explodes, but the ones where that innocence returns – Bonneville in this run is a good example.
Anyway, enough waffle; back to the edit.