Top Gear, top show

It occurs to me that I have probably not really expressed myself on the joy that is Top Gear previously. I will now remedy that by explaining why it is one of the best tv-shows ever. No, this has not been brought on by Richard Hammond’s rather unfortunate work-related accident (though I am, of course, hoping that he’ll be up and about and driving ridiculously fast again – in reasonably controlled conditions – as soon as may be), but by my finally reading I Know You Got Soul, which we purchased in Kingston this summer. I somehow feel I owe you an explanation of how come I enjoy a show about cars when, normally, a conversation about cars could quite possibly be one of the few things that would bore me to tears.

Well, you see, it’s not cars so much. It’s Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. Yes, it involves them talking about cars a lot (in fact for most of the show), but it involves them talking about cars in a way that is witty in that uniquely British way. And of course you know I do love British wit. So.

Does that explain it? Possibly not. I also, on the whole, love watching people do things that they obviously enjoy doing. And the three Top Gear presenters are so frequently the picture of joyful glee when they get their hands on a new car that it is very hard not to be smitten.

Another thing is the competitive spirit. Well, I have it, and they’ve got it in bundles. In an episode I saw recently, Jeremy Clarkson was out in Germany trying to get a car round the world’s longest race-track (at least, I think it was – see, I can’t remember the track or the car, that’s not what I watch Top Gear for) in less than… uhm… I think it was ten minutes, but don’t hold me to that. (I suppose I could google this, but the details are beside the point, really.) He struggled manfully for days and finally just made it. He blamed the car for his failure to do better sooner. Then he let his guide to the track, a local girl about my own age who probably had motor oil instead of mother’s milk, have a go. Her first try at the car, but her ten thousanth something try at the track. Anyway, she beat him, obviously. To Hammond and May’s delight. Oh, and she had blond hair, too.

Whatever. It’s one of the best shows on television (and before you ask, I haven’t even seen the Norwegian version, and I have no intention of ever doing so – it’s that anglophile thing again, you see). And one of the funniest episodes ever can be found on YouTube in three parts. Do yourself the favour: Part 1, part 2 and part 3.