The new series of Top Gear begins on BBC2 this Sunday, and while there may have been some changes to the line-up (again) one thing definitely remains the same – the motoring entertainment series is still the home of some of TV’s biggest and best stunts.
“It’s an embarrassment of riches!” newly-promoted host Chris Harris tells RadioTimes.com. “When you ask me that question I realise just how much I’ve done in the past three months, it’s been ridiculous.”
And fellow new-ish face Rory Reid (joining Harris and Matt LeBlanc to complete the central presenting trio following the departure of host Chris Evans last year) couldn’t agree more, telling us that the latest incarnation of the series is looking to get viewers talking.
“We’re going on adventures that are gonna be more watercooler moments than what we’ve seen in the previous series,” Reid says.
“There’s gonna be big, big set pieces that people are gonna remember and talk about – immediately after the show and for the week afterwards.”
Big words from the new boys behind the wheel then – but what exactly are these massive stunts that we can expect to see every Sunday night? Well, while the Top Gear team were obviously keen to keep some details under wraps, they did share details of a few exciting films coming our way soon, from a spy thriller to a space-themed trip to Kazakhstan.
The name’s LeBlanc…MATT LeBlanc…
A stunt you might have glimpsed once or twice in trailers for the new series is a favourite of Rory Reid's, and sees his co-hosts Harris and LeBlanc trying to outrun the police.
“One of my favourites that I’ve seen is the Bond film that Chris and Matt did in Montenegro,” Reid says.
“Matt LeBlanc drove the Aston Martin DB11, and had a bit of high-speed banter with Chris Harris in a Mercedes. And they ended up in this awesome police chase, where there were helicopters and tanks involved.
“There’s a hilarious punchline at the end of that film that I think only Matt LeBlanc could pull off. And I won’t give away what that is, but that was great fun.”
Fun in a Ferrari
On the less cinematic side, when asked about his favourite film in the new series, Chris Harris keeps it simple – because he just loves going fast.
“What would it be?” he ponders. “I think the Ferrari FXX K (pictured) actually.
“When that was fully lit, down the back straights of Daytona, doing 185 mph, I was pretty mindblown at what we were being allowed to do, and what I was being allowed to do for Top Gear. I did have a pinch myself moment then.”
And finally, a stunt that may allow Top Gear to finally reach the stars – assuming their clapped-out cars don’t die in the dust before then.
“We also went to Kazakhstan in some high-miler cars, and each of our cars had to have a minimum of half a million miles on the clock,” Reid explains.
“And I had a London Taxi, Matt had a Mercedes and Chris had a Volvo (below). And we basically put these cars through their paces, tested them to the limit in races, and all sort of crazy adventures.
“Which all culminated in… we’ll leave you guessing. But there’s a really cool twist at the end, which I don’t think we’ve seen on any car show before.”
Mysterious stuff – though there might be a clue to that spectacular ending from comments Reid gave earlier in the interview...
“I think the next day people are gonna be like ‘Did you see what happened in Kazakhstan? How cool would it have been to stand next to that rocket as it took off into space?’”
if all this is anything to go by, sounds like the new series of Top Gear will be out of this world.
Top Gear returns to BBC2 at 8:00pm on Sunday 5th March