Planet-9 Porsche Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I love Top Gear. Heck even my wife enjoys it from time to time. Especially when they do a story about Caravanning (RVs to us yanks) and said caravan catches fire. The antics of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May can be pretty funny – the trip to the southern US notwithstanding. They have a chemistry, a flow to the banter – you know that Clarkson will make bombastic pronouncements that he is the smartest, best looking man in Britain, Mercedes are the best cars on the planet and everything else (especially Porsches) are rubbish, Hammond will have to endure countless jokes about his height, all the while looking very dapper in the most au courant clobber (hip duds to us) and “Captain Slow” James May will have endless practical jokes pulled on him, all the while standing there (taking it) with an almost slow witted look on his face, when the realization dawns on him that the other two pranksters have pulled the wool over his eyes yet again. I am sure that it is all staged, but it works.

So while in London for a well deserved vacation, my wife and I had the chance to attend Top Gear Live on press passes. How could I pass that up? Especially when my wife found train tickets to Birmingham for £15 each – round trip! Now the train stopped every 30 meters, but we eventually got there. To say that we visited the city of Birmingham might be stretching it a wee bit. The location of TG Live was in the National Exposition Center which is attached to the train station itself. The only time we were outside was when we were on the track waiting for the train. The Londoners that we know, pointed out very succinctly that we did not miss anything and there were several inferences to how the Birmingham’ers spoke…not like that kind of good natured kidding ever happens in the US.

We collected our passes and VIP lanyards and took our seats. The action was frantic, kinetic and non-stop. First up? Tiff Needell and Vicky Butler-Henderson (a couple of TG alums) hosted a section called “GRUDGE MATCH”. When mentioned (which was frequently) a huge metal guitar riff, belching flames and a WWF baritone voice bellowing well…”GRUDGE MATCH” thundered through the PA system. It got annoying after a while. GRUDGE MATCH was a series of tests for top lap times. It feature The Stig racing against the clock with Tiff. Then a wasted segment with Ken Block doing donuts and still more timed tests followed. It was fun for about 10 minutes. GRUDGE MATCH! Forty Minutes later it was getting a little old.

The main show started with a dramatic entrance by “The Boys” on a mobile stage driven by Mr. Clarkson and propelled by a Corvette V-8. Jeremy promptly proved that he could drift it while simultaneously breaking it (not in the script). We were then treated to classic TG banter complete with contests created to dismember, maim or at least humiliate each other.

Hammond was first – his required Clarkson and May to sit stripped in a car attached by a cable and towed by a BMW Z3. At the proper moment they would release the tow cable and careen into a number of parked cars. The more cars they hit, the higher the points. May ended up winning over a frustrated Clarkson (he really hates to lose).

Next up – Clarkson. He invented a new sport – motorcycle polo. The bikes had compressed air powered mallets hitting a huge inflated ball. It was the boys against the TG stunt team and it was discovered that he (Clarkson) did not know how to use a clutch on a motorbike. He went around screaming about how he could not drive a bike while scoring two goals. I think he over (or maybe under) stated his motorcycle driving abilities. The Boys won…duh.

May was last and his was the funniest. He had The Stig and Clarkson go round the closed course while British Spec Op snipers shot at them. No real bullets mind you, but sensors on helmets and vests. The Stig did a lap in 1:11 and the snipers hit him seventeen times. Most of the hits were in his helmet, chest and shoulder. Clarkson did his lap in 2:22 and was hit only 163 times. And when they listed all the hits, strange enough they all hit his penis. Or as he quipped, the snipers must have been excellent shots since the target was so small. Que the laughter.

Were there any Porsches? Well yes, there were. A brief appearance in a segment where a lot of exotic cars were brought in for our visual enjoyment. A new 991 was slotted among Aston Martins, Lexus SFAs and various Ferraris. In between all the contests we were treated to numerous breaks featuring dancing girls with fire shooting out of their hands, motorcycles on fire, cars on fire, cars spewing fire and fire on the track. A couple of Porsches 911’s made a brief appearance in a staged car chase. Yes, they were on fire.

The show lasted two and a half hours and I will tell you, it seemed to drag out a bit. There was not enough of The Boys or The Stig, but there sure were a lot of girls, motorcycles and cars on fire. As the happy crowd drifted out, the next group of people were already lining up for the next show. They would no doubt leave happy too. Walking upstairs we went to the exhibit area and noticed the VIP section. Inside were a lot of vehicles from previous taped and live shows. That was about it. If I had paid extra for the VIP passes, I would have not been too happy, it seemed underwhelming to me. We did enjoy the expo area, there was a lot of bling - Carrera GTs, Veyrons, Gumperts, SSCs and an incredible single seater called a BAC Mono, it was my favorite of the show.

I love Top Gear, but I think I will keep my viewing to the taped BBC show. TG Live seemed like too much and too little at the same time. I did like the girls shooting flames from their hands though…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
thanks for supporting us brits, appologies for the boring show, its cold here ,and half the year we are locked in doors .which is not good ,save us come and give us a mind blowing show ,and take our money:banana:
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top