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June 02 , 2010

And On That Bombshell

Inside the Madness and Genius of TOP GEAR


I was Top Gear's script editor for 13 years and all 22 series. I basically used to check spelling and think of stupid gags about The Stig. I also got to hang around with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. It didn't feel like something you should get paid for.

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From the disastrous pilot show of 2002 to the sudden and unexpected ending in 2015, working on Top Gear was quite a rollercoaster ride. We crossed continents, we made space ships, we bobbed across the world's busiest shipping lane in a pick-up truck. We also got chased by an angry mob, repeatedly sparked fury in newspapers, and almost killed one of our presenters.

I realised that I had quite a few stories to tell from behind the scenes on the show. I remembered whose daft idea it was to get a dog. I recalled the willfully stupid way in which we decorated our horrible office. I had a sudden flashback to the time a Bolivian drug lord threatened to kill us.

I decided I should write down some of these stories. So I have. I hope you like them.

And now, a quote from James May:

'Richard Porter has asked me to "write a quote" for his new book about the ancient history of Top Gear. But this is a ridiculous request. How can one "write a quote"? Surely, by definition, a quote must be extracted from a greater body of writing, for the purpose of illustrating or supporting a point in an unrelated work. I cannot "write a quote" any more than I could "film an out-take".

'Porter, like Athens, has lost his marbles.' - James May

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