You might think that the news section of Top Gear is all done on the hoof. In fact, there’s a bit of preparation that goes into it, and that all happens on a Tuesday in the main TG office, just next to London’s glittering Westway flyover.
Various news cuttings and press releases are laid out on the floor and the presenters arrive bright and early, usually about 9am although every week James forgets this and has to ask someone when he’s meant to be there, so they can being the process of stalking around the room picking up things that look interesting and trying to think of something entertaining to say about them.
Even after 13 series it’s a mildly shambolic process, but one that leads – eventually – to each presenter having a series of notes on what they want to say. Then they think about it some more and decide to talk about something entirely different. This week, for example, Jeremy was muttering about golf and what a total waste of time it is. But then he got distracted impersonating Terry Thomas and the dark thoughts about people in horrible check trousers got forgotten.
Once their notes are finalised the presenters have to wait until the studio recording on Wednesday to find out whether the audience are even half interested in what they’ve got to say. The good news is that in the case of yesterday’s filming, everything seemed to go down well. Even without a rant about golfists.