James May's Man Lab

Series 3 - Episode 1

James May's Man Lab
Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

Blokey, blunt James May is back with more pottering for the modern male. It’s a likeable series this, even when its celebrations of garden-shed handy-manliness can slightly remind you of a pub bore regaling you about his latest DIY triumph.

At its best, though, there’s a good mix of daft stunts and spiels about relearning the skills of our forefathers. Tonight, for instance, May and his elves attempt to build
a huge pizza oven from scratch – no wussy ordering of takeaways for them. Less promisingly, May also tries his hand at commentating on the Grand National. And one of his sidekicks will try to pass himself off as a wine buff – while James and Oz Clarke give advice via an earpiece from a van outside.

It’s another chance for the unlikely Clarke/May naughty-schoolboy chemistry to spark up: like so much of Man Lab, it really shouldn’t work, but it often does.

About this programme

1/5. The Top Gear presenter continues his quest to help modern men relearn vital skills in danger of being lost, beginning by enlisting a memory champion to help him prepare to commentate on the Grand National. Back in the lab, James builds a one-ton pizza oven from scratch, while his sidekick Rory is challenged to convince a group of connoisseurs that he is the BBC's newest wine expert - with James and Oz Clarke offering help via an earpiece from a van parked outside.

Cast and crew


James May
Oz Clarke


Executive Producer
Will Daws
Series Director
Tom Whitter
Series Producer
Tom Whitter