Peeing into the wind at the North Pole

The funny thing is, when I started reading Richard Hammond’s account of racing Jeremy Clarkson and James May to the North Pole, I did not expect to find out quite so much about the toilet habits of sub zero temperature travellers. Still, a fun read about the Top Gear crew.

“Bloody hell, guys, there’s a bog here. I’ve found it. It’s beautiful. I want to see if it’s real. Give me the gun. And the bog roll. If I’m not back in half an hour, tell my family I died a happy man.”

If that’s a little too squeamish for you, then you really should avoid Clarkson Island. Thanks Mark for twittering this excellent little piece. I love the bit where the young Clarkson gets on the quad bike, and the announcer’s comment that follows ..

PS. WP Super Cache update to follow in a few days. If your blog uses a mixture of query strings and fancy permalinks I’m testing a mod_rewrite rule that may make your life easier:

RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} !.*=.*

The noble sport of motorhome racing

Richard Hammond founded a new motor sport for last week’s Top Gear. Motorhome Racing! The rules are quite strict, it’s a no contact race, and the aim of the race is to be able to drive home afterwards. Pity the other drivers didn’t know the rules ..

I was going to blog the review of the impressive (but not new) Alfa Romeo 159 by James May on the same show, but hey, after the motorhome race all bets were off. That was just too good to miss! Unfortunately I had already found the video so look for it after the jump!

Continue reading “The noble sport of motorhome racing”

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.

Continue reading “Top Gear attacked by rednecks”

Hammond may have brain damage

Richard Hammond, one of the presenters on BBC’s Top Gear, crashed in a jet powered dragster while trying to break the British land speed record of 300.3mph. He had reached 300mph on his first go, and was doing a final run when, “one of the parachutes had deployed but it went on to the grass and spun over and over before coming to a rest about 100 yards from us.”

Sky news updated their news story about the accident a few minutes ago. Richard Hammond suffered a “significant brain injury” but they’re hopeful he will make a good recovery. Watching them do crazy things on Top Gear from time to time it’s easy to forget that they’re actually taking risks. Unfortunately this time something went wrong.

Hope you recover soon Richard!

Much later.. News is getting better.

Clarkson revealed he had made Hammond smile during the visit by calling him “a crap driver”.

He told The Sun: “He was lying peacefully with a black eye but didn’t react so I tried something else.

“I said, ‘The reason you’re here is because you’re a crap driver’. He then smiled at me. It was an amazing moment, very moving.”

Later.. I just watched the final episode of the last series of Top Gear. That’s the one with the white vans. In a final race against Stig in a police car, Richard tipped over the small van he was driving when he tried to take a corner too fast. The van skidded a few feet before coming to a stop and he climbed out safely. I wonder did what Jeremy and James say come back to haunt them when they joked, “Richard might be dead. If you want a job in Top Gear send your application to I’m better than Richard Hammond..”

The Wikipedia page on Richard Hammond has a summary of events including the good news,

In the early hours of 22 September, Hammond took his first steps, just 30 hours after the crash, according to Jeremy Clarkson, and was moved to a general ward on 23 September.

Jeremy Clarkson responds in his usual way, making fun of and light of what happened. I don’t doubt that they did as much as they could to make his land speed attempt safe but reading Jeremy’s quote below, one has to wonder how many children does it take to force a man to consider his fate? Obviously not two, maybe three? No, probably four children.

I have too many children these days to put myself voluntarily in harm’s way. Hammond, however, isn’t there yet.

Top Gear is a great show but when Jeremy Clarkson’s flippant attitude strays towards serious matters it really irks me. Thank God, Richard Hammond is well on his way to recovery.

TCAL has photos taken from Sky News of the crash. Looks bad. Lucky man to walk away from that!

Richard Hammond Crash

The Top Gear Survey 2005

If you were watching Top Gear tonight you no doubt took note of the Survey they released results for. They’re on the web but the lads in the studio didn’t have or couldn’t give out the URL. If you followed the suggest Google search, you’d have come across these two beauties:

  • BBC – Top Gear Survey 2005 Results which appears to only show a summary. The top and bottom ten as well as category winners.
  • The real meat is on topgear.com where they list all the cars entered as well as marques and ratings for each car.

I noticed with relish that Toyota are no. 5 in the manufacturer’s list. Surprisingly, Skoda are in second position, just behind Lexus. The purchase of Skoda by VW has paid off in recent years!