Top Gear attacked by rednecks

This is pure comedy. What did Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May expect when they drove through Alabama in the deep south of the United States, with the intention of antagonising the local populace? They’d welcome the stars of a car show from the UK with open arms? Watch the video, it’s hilarious, and scary! (via Matt Thomas)

Youtube unsurprisingly took down the clip but you can still watch it on craveonline thanks to kiwibiker for the link.

PS. James May writes about the episode on the The Top Gear blog. Thanks again to Matt for the link.

43 thoughts on “Top Gear attacked by rednecks

  1. That was a brilliant episode, I even blogged about it, way back in 2003. Can it be that long ago?

    I haven’t seen the episode above yet, but Sky+ has it recorded so as soon as I catch up with Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, Lost, 24, and Battlestar Galactica I may get around to watching it. Phew.

  2. I agree. Sunday’s TopGear show was very funny.

    However, it felt a little odd when Jeremy Clarkson was saying ‘You’re going to die/get killed etc’ to Richard Hammond given what subsequently happened to him a few weeks later.

  3. You’d think the people down here would be receptive to fellow car enthusiasts, but once they found out your cars have “boots” and “bonnets” the love was over. 😉

  4. I think the segment was filmed before the Hamster prang, actually: when the get to New Orleans, they talk about it being “1 year after Katrina” i.e. Aug/Sept. I’m honestly wondering just how genuine it was, it looked a bit staged to me.

  5. TopGear have make “Top Gear Awards 2006” for the supercar, in this catagory have win one italian car: Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano 😀

  6. No way was that staged. I do think that the cameras were intentionally cut – i.e. edited out. But I reckon the rest was real.

  7. The redneck scene was fake and staged. The truck the rednecks arrived in was parked to the left of the gas station when the british people arrived. Re-watch it and keep an eye on it.

  8. Raymond – could be, could be, but it’s hard to tell. There were two pickups at the side of the garage, but one moved out as the “boys” arrived. Not sure, but it’s great TV 🙂

  9. How fkn stupid are some of you people?

    Not only was this particular “sketch” set up, the whole fkn thing is.

    Every supposedly spontaneous quip in the studio between the trio of w@nkers has clearly been pre-rehearsed.

  10. LOL @ morons like Confiteor. In his mind, I bet he’s pretty sure he’s smart, you know, having exposed what’s staged and what isn’t in popular entertainment.

  11. i always find myself woundering wether or not some shows are scripted. i find myself wanting to beleive that a trio of good comedians understand the art of humor enough to take the humor into a truly random senario. i just want tobeleive it real.

  12. yeah loads of the dialogue is scripted (by them though), they’ll have a rehersal and there’ll be loads of editing out the lesser bits and retakes. As for the garage scene ‘this is a hick town’…that was real and again edited. If you really think those guys would stage such a thing then you don’t know them at all. Richard hammond did nearly died for the program in that crash. The toyota pick-up did survive a massive drop into the rubble of a high-rise building. You can keep watching it over and over trying to discredit it, but it’s there – sorry confiteor.

    It’s easy to be fooled by jeremy clarksons dry commentary, but they had no idea people would really be that violent. Shocking stuff from the greatest country in the world. Moral cowards.

    Best Episode ever.

  13. Are you people retarded?! Completly staged. Its sad to live in a world where 99,9% of the people are dumber than Bush…

    And so what if it was real? If you modified things to suit a particular culture you could do the same in EVERY part of the World…but it would be risky and not very camera-friendly thats why the faking.

    And in their home England? Even Polish girls are attacked in schools for being too pretty, England is the “Redneck” capital of the World.

  14. “Even Polish girls are attacked in schools for being too pretty”
    What the hell are you on about. Have you ever been here?
    What… just… I dont get that totally random comment you just made. You could’ve made up something a little more believable.
    I know someone who is good friends with one of the researchers on Top Gear. I know for a fact that most of these things are not set up, they often have small scripted parts but most of it is as you see it.
    Yes they do put themselves in a lot of danger a lot of the time and thats good. Britain and America are becoming too PC and overprotective. Its nice to see three lads encouraging everyone else to stop being sheep and start having some fun again.

  15. Just saw this show again on BBC Three. It really shows America at its worst: From the hugely fat Miami car dealers, to the ‘irony deficient’ Alabama rednecks, to the wreck of New Orleans a whole year after Katrina, yep that sure was not the Holiday Program. Very, very funny though and very cutting.

  16. I love Top Gear. Easily my favorite show. But, I also accept that most of it is set up/scripted. That’s how they maintain such high level of quality.

    I thought the American roadtrip episode was a bit much. They played to their audience a bit too heavily with every tired cliche they could fit in. Anyone else notice that James May’s heart didn’t seem to be in that one?

    I decided to research and prove the redneck thing was staged. I live in north Mississippi near Memphis and on a business trip to Destin FL, I went right past their route. On the way back through Alabama I found the gas station in question and spoke with the owner. He was suspicious at first but after finding out I was a fan and not looking to quote him he admitted he was contacted weeks before the filming.

    I contacted the BBC and the TG office next. The calls weren’t cheap, but I just had to ask them directly. When they found out I was looking to authenticate that episode they tried to fob me off with some free t-shirts and then refused to comment.

    Sorry guys. I know you really really want to believe it’s all spontaneous, (and some of you still will) but on a top rated prime time show- nothing is left to chance.

    For a more realistic example of an American road trip, watch Oz Clark and James May’s California Wine Adventure.

  17. What about all the races? Are they fake too? Like the bullet train and stuff. And what about all the challenges they are given…are they fake aswell?

    1. The actual race is real but the scenes where you see bikers riding over cars ect they are faked. youtube some of them ie top gear parkour and you can see how they stage thm

  18. Honestly I couldn’t care less if it’s staged or not, it’s still funny and looking into is just ruining the fun for yourself. what is the point? it’s undeniable that a lot of americans are like that, hicks, rednecks, idiots that constantly blab about america being the greatest country on earth. the fact that you guys have to constantly tell yourselves that is enough to prove that it’s not true. i’m scottish, i love my country but we’re rubbish and we know it, and we’re proud of it, who gives a crap?

    anyway, top gear is fantastic, that ep was one of the best and, staged or not, i’ll still love it as long as episodes with the quality of the lorry one keep on rolling out!

  19. There is a reason it matter whether it is staged or not. Because sometime in the future the reality will fade and people will assume that it was real. A similar thing happened when Disney made a movie about nature that included staged scenes of lemmings jumping to their death into the ocean. The reality was the lemmings were trying to escape from the bulldozer that was about to squash them so they would jump into a vat of acid to escape being crushed. Yet to this day there are millions of people that believe lemmings are stupid enough to follow each other over a cliff to die. I’m sure parts of the episode are already tainting peoples perceptions as someone retells the story and leaves out the bit that it was staged until you end up with people thinking that you would be stoned for saying nascar sucks in Alabama.

  20. I work as a camera man for the BBC and was there! I have googled this because we have recently been going through the shows archives to look at my 6 years on the team – where i’ve been to places like Vietnam. Alabama was not staged. Do you think someone who displayed violence, homophobia, xenophobia and ignorance would admit throwing stones? this is the same country where in a city destroyed by a hurricane/storm someone had put graffiti stating that riots rule… Also where charity sue those trying to help. Believe me the stains in my pants an the fact we used coke to wash writing off (4 2ltr bottles) when we could’ve “staged” so much more, proves it real. If you think it was a set up then fine – you are only being as ignorant as those who threw stones.

    1. You’re lying. I’m what you’d call acutely observant: the bottles of coke poured on the cars were clearly 1-liter “jumbo 20” bottles.

  21. Television has a long history of fakery, from the very first silent films to the latest HD spectacular. Don’t be naive, they all do it, every studio has an EDITOR!

    That said, I think Top Gear does use excessive editing, and the presenters sometimes portray their exploits in a very dishonest fashion. Classic example is James May in the caravan airship; you’d think he’s some kinda hotshot pilot after watching the episode, but in reality he was just a passenger (the real flying was done by a trained stunt pilot). Not to mention the fake police helicopter and fake taxing passenger plane…

  22. “on a top rated prime time show- nothing is left to chance.” – The Fact Man

    A very wise statement. This is how tv works… nothing is left to chance. Also, did any of you consider the scene with the cow? How fake was that? I know it’s just a small detail, but if that was staged then you’d have to assume…

    Also Dan Jamex, because you did not mentioning anything about that episode of Top Gear that didn’t end up in the edited broadcast version of the show, your story is not very credible. Try harder next time.

  23. I’m going in with this believing that the reaction of the Alabama locals was real….my only comment is: isnt america a democracy, where the freedom of speech reigns more profoundly than anything else?

    1. “I’m going in with this believing that the reaction of the Alabama locals was real….my only comment is: isnt america a democracy, where the freedom of speech reigns more profoundly than anything else?”

      I went to live in America believing that was the case but found that the constitution only applies to the Federal Government. In other words only the Federal Government is governed by the Constitution, its Amendments and the Bill of Rights. The actual population of the US and all of the companies that operate don’t care two hoots about anyone’s rights except their own. Briton’s have a lot more freedoms than Americans do in my experience of living in both countries.

  24. Dan Jamex – Your comments illustrate that you are as ignorant and prejudiced as the folks in AL you think you’re so much better than. Would you think it fair I were to judge England based on graffiti I find in poor northern cities.

    The part of Alabama you drove through is one of the poorest parts of the country and went through there looking to get shot or arrested. Rednecks have seen reality tv before. They know that a camera crew and a bunch of silly Brits with purposely antagonistic slogans written on their cars are there for one reason: to portray poor people in Alabama as stupid and ignorant.

    Did you really have to go all the way to Alabama to find poor people to portray as dumb and ignorant? None of those in the UK?

  25. I’m sorry but how on earth is England the “Redneck” capital of the world? I think you’ll find there are plenty of other places in the world (and some states) that are so ignorant, and close-minded, they can’t see past the end of their own noses. So before you start referencing strange and often questionable sources, do a bit more research from reputable sources.

  26. Fake as a fake thing. I’m with the boys who despair people are taken in and then use it to proclaim all Americans are intolerant idiots. Mr Hammond even has the cheek to go on about it in his autobiography ending in lecture about intolerance – but it was OK for them to go round insulting people by painting on the cars?
    Reasons its fake:
    1. People’s faces aren’t blanked out. Alabama has lawyers and police you know: someone could make a lot of money if they sued the BBC for wrongly portraying them on global TV.
    2. Where do you find stones on a garage forecourt?
    3. If you were an angry (so called) redneck with a gang of mates – why not step over and stick one on the limeys? Why throw some stones?
    4. if you were in fear of your life would you wait to jump start an old cadillac?
    5. Normally camera men can get shots in the middle of a war zone – but in this we can only get blurry shots of people running. A bit too much ‘blair witch’.
    6. Mr Hammond talks about rednecks in stetsons chasing them. Rednecks wear baseball caps.
    About the only thing real about Top Gear is Clarksons salary and Hammond’s time at the hairdressers.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.