Motoring show. Jeremy, Richard and James are challenged to knock down a row of derelict houses in less time than it takes a team of demolition experts to do the same job.
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Tonight, I talk to a man in sunglasses.
James draws a square on a wall.
And Richard plays with a soldier's chopper.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hello, good evening. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.
Now, in the '60s and '70s the TV schedules were awash with detective shows like The Baron,
Department S, The Protectors, The Persuaders, The Saint, The Avengers.
You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?
Let me explain. They were all basically the same.
Every week a good looking man would run into a swanky hotel, punch
a swarthy looking man in a Fez and then go to bed with a pretty lady.
Anyone here old enough to remember that? Yeah, you, exactly.
The only difference was the cars they all drove, OK?
This is Brett Sinclair, Aston Martin DBS.
Steed had a Broadspeed tuned Jag.
And there is The Saint with his Volvo P1800.
Now, the interesting thing is that almost none of them ever drove
the Jensen Interceptor, and I think there's a very good reason for that.
It looks fantastic, but it was built very badly by people who didn't seem to care what they were doing.
Let me give you one example.
When the people on the Jensen production line needed a new steering rack they'd go to
the steering rack factory and buy one, often without bothering to check what car it was for.
Some Interceptors were apparently sold fitted with steering racks designed for the Triumph Stag.
That, then, is why it wasn't very popular with the TV heroes of yesteryear.
It would never have worked properly.
Now, though, a small company based here in the lungs of England
has launched an updated version, which does.
In the old car the big Chrysler engine turned petrol into noise,
but very little power was produced on the way,
so they've taken that engine out and thrown it away.
In its place there's a 6.2 litre V8 from the modern day Corvette.
The rear suspension is modern, too, as are the brakes.
But, critically, the body, that glorious Italian styling, that's untouched.
And it still has the best name ever put on a car...
What we have is much the same as that house over there.
It's old and it's beautiful, but it has central heating, it has all the appurtenances of modern living.
And unlike that modern day E type we looked at the other day this doesn't cost £500,000.
This is 112,000.
I know that's a lot if you're on benefits, but it's not a lot if you're on Elton John.
I mean, if you are Elton John.
And it's really not a lot when you see what this car can do.
Thanks to 429 horsepower, 0 to 60 is dealt with in 4.5 seconds
and the top speed is 167.
It goes, then, like that other interceptor from the period,
the English Electric Lightning.
However, it as thirsty as the jet,
and as noisy.
The engine in this, though, sounds fantastic...I think.
It's hard to be sure because there's so much wind noise
coming from here and everywhere else.
It's a reminder, really, that this car was built in the '70s
in the West Midlands and these words,
"West", "Seventies", "Midlands," they're not bywords for quality.
There are other period features I don't much care for either.
There's the air-conditioning. Two settings,
sauna or Turkish prison.
Then you've got the wipers, which are as good at removing water from the windscreen as a pair of pencils.
And then there's the steering system.
It's original, so it could be from a Triumph Stag or it could be from
a lawn mower, who knows?
What I do know is to make the car move that much
you have to do quite a lot of flailing at the wheel.
There are, however, some period features I love.
The traditional white on black dials are the sort you get in war films, that you tap
when they tell you bad news and then they tell you good news.
Oh no, I've got no fuel!
Oh, look, I've got a full tank!
I also like having the dim dip switch on the floor.
And, look at that radio!
'This is the BBC Home Service.'
It's from the James May collection.
So, how do we sum this car up?
Certainly it's more of a grand tourer than a raging
B road barnstormer, but I think that what it is most of all
is a time machine.
In my head, right now this is not Top Gear and this is not 2011.
It's 1972, I have an enormous moustache and I am the star
of a new TV detective show.
-Rock your head.
-I would have done if you'd gone within a metre of me!
It was like you're swatting a fly.
-That was rubbish.
-Did you see that?
-Yeah, it was rubbish.
We can't just go around pretending to punch each other.
-You need a sort of proper sequence. Nice wheels, by the way.
-Isn't it just the best thing ever?
We need to sort this out. We need a plan.
So, we adjourned to the Top Gear office to plan our Interceptor tribute show.
-Why don't we just make the title sequence?
-Title sequence is a good idea because
-that tells the whole story. It sums up the atmosphere and the setting.
They're always very short and they often end with a freeze.
Exactly. And everyone turns like that.
There's always somebody doing karate chops on people.
-No, there's always a karate chop, shooting, car chase.
There was never any blood.
-People were shot extensively.
-Very close, and they never bled.
-If anything ever has a button on it or a light, they're massive.
Do you remember that bit in The Persuaders?
Roger Moore, Tony Curtis, walking along, girl in
a bikini walks between them for no obvious reason and they both go...
The good thing about a karate chop is there's no blood.
you wouldn't need blood. The whole shooting and no blood.
-Karate chop, no blood, you fall over.
-There is karate.
-You can do a karate chop.
-It's just there always was.
-You get out of the car, karate.
-There was a karate specialist.
You could be a karate specialist.
-Well, let's get out there and make a title sequence.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-Did you kick that girl in the crotch?
-Yes, I did.
It was actually in her crotch? You could edit that out.
Can I just ask...?
-Can I just ask, why don't we make that every week?
-Yes, I know.
-I want to be a karate expert.
-I want an Interceptor.
-I want a moustache.
-Well, there you go.
-Who here would like us to stop making this rubbish and make that instead?
Because think of the snogging!
And I tell you what, I know the girl we could have.
Wendi Murdoch! Blam!
Apparently, according to one newspaper, so must be true, she growled when she hit him. Oh!
-Hammond likes a fighty girl.
Anyway, before we do the news properly, there's something I need to explain.
Very, very keen viewers may have noticed that this
hour long programme, is sometimes 62 or even 63 minutes long.
But this week BBC Two have told us it must be 59 minutes, no ifs or buts, on the nose.
In fact, all the programmes on BBC Two tonight must be exactly to
length because they're going at 10.00pm live to the MotoGP race.
-I'm not interested in bike racing.
Just because you're not interested
doesn't mean that the BBC should deny all the people who are the opportunity of seeing it.
Bike racing only works on YouTube.
-Well, you just see the crashes and then...
-Oh, don't be sick!
Hands up if you want to see bike racing? Two...
So, about 8% of the population want me to get a move on.
Yes, they do, so we're going to press on and start with the news.
And we start with news you may have heard of this week, a new flying car has been announced.
It costs £150,000. Here's a shot of it in the air.
That's what it looks like as an aeroplane. And here's a shot of it on the ground.
It's just a crumpled aeroplane, isn't it? It just comes pre crashed.
There's an even bigger problem I've thought of.
Everybody knows, James, you do have a light aircraft,
-and before you take off you have to do pre-flight checks.
-Well, a few, yeah.
-What are they?
You have to check the fuel...
Why do you check the fuel?
-So it hasn't got water in it.
-How would water get into the fuel?
-Oh, we haven't got time for this!
-No, I'm very interested.
-We haven't got time for this.
-It's only bike racing.
-Tell me more about your pre-flight checks.
-You know what?
Even I would rather watch bike racing than listen to James talk about his pre-flight checks.
-So get on.
-I will. Now, there's a company in America called SSC
and they brought out a car called the Aero, which,
for a time, was the fastest car in the world, verified by Guinness. Faster than the Bugatti Veyron.
They've come up with another new car.
I've got a picture of it here. We have no details at all, but we do know its name.
It's called the Twatawahfur.
That's interesting. Is this going to be a rival for the new Pagani Huhurrua?
The replacement for the Zonda, it's called that Hurh...
-It's spelt H-U-A-Y-R-A. The Hurh...
Huayra. So, you've got a choice now, if you're a wealthy person, between the Twatawahurrr,
or the Hurwarrrrrrrr.
So, are car makers now naming their cars after the noises people make when they're punched in the stomach?
The Lamborghini Blurgha!
Mini recently announced a new car.
It's called The Mini Inspired By Goodwood.
Stupid name, stupid price. £41,000.
-For a Mini?
-For a Mini.
41 grand. However, Aston has now gone one better, OK?
We've got this new car, it's called the Cygnet and Colette
-and that's £43,000.
43 grand for that!
And we should point out that that is a Toyota iQ.
Yes, it starts out as an 11 grand Toyota.
Aston Martin take the Toyota badges off, put Aston Martin ones on, the price goes up to 31,000.
They've now added the Colette badges, 43 grand.
So, what do you get for that extra 12 grand on top?
You need to look inside. Here they are, two cushions.
Wait a minute. What is the Cygnet AND Colette?
It sounds like a lap dancing duo from Leeds.
An ice skating duo, Cygnet and Colette.
No, to be honest, we know that the Cygnet part is an Aston Martin Cygnet.
It's the Colette thing.
What is Colette? It sounds like a feminine hygiene product.
-I made a mistake.
You get more than just the cushions.
I do apologise. You also get quilted sun visors, some biscuits.
I'm just quoting what you get.
"A guide to Paris, a plastic camera, an empty bottle
"and four compilation CDs featuring bands such as The Morning Benders."
So, basically they're selling you a small Toyota full of clutter.
Oh, now, the most important thing, obviously.
A couple of weeks ago I showed you all a bird deposit
-on my Range Rover. You may remember.
And I invited viewers to send in pictures of bird dirt on their car that was more substantial.
-We've had some, I admit.
-Here's one from Africa.
-I think we know who did it!
-This is a marabou stork.
God's cruellest joke, this bird.
wWe haven't really got time for one of your bird lectures.
You're getting it because this is more interesting than bike racing.
God knew that bird would live in Africa when he gave it bald legs.
Now, I'm sorry, but that's a bit unkind.
So, its legs get hot and sunburnt and the only way it can cool them down,
and I'm not making this up, is to wee on them constantly.
-Yeah, but, Jeremy...
-So it wees on its legs.
We're a car show.
A giant stork that wees on its knees is not strictly our kind of deal.
It is if it's standing on a Mitsubishi Lancer.
-Which it is, so there's a car element to my story.
-Anyway there's... What?
-That's a Galant.
What a cretin you are!
That could well be a Galant. It's a Galant!
Remind me never to have him round for dinner.
How did you know it was a Galant,
you can only see the back of the television?
Anyway, I've just humiliated myself and will now commit suicide.
-If I do that you'll be able to watch the bike racing.
-Yes, we will.
So, I won't, I shall keep going with another bird dirt picture.
Now, I don't think a bird did that.
I think that was a man and I think, if that's your car, you should report him to the police.
Not that you can because, of course, they've all resigned. But, anyway...
-And that's the end of the news.
-It isn't, actually.
-It is. I'm not going to waste time arguing. Move on!
I will move it on because I want to talk about sport.
You see, anyone can kick a football around and get an idea of what it would be like to be David Beckham.
Anybody can pick up a golf bat and get an idea of what it would like to be a Freemason.
-Let's get on with your point.
-If you want to drive a Formula One car you have to be a Formula One driver.
An ordinary mortal can't just go into a Formula One factory and buy one, except now you can.
This is the new Lotus T125.
And straight away, an anorak would say, "that's not a Formula One car."
And that's right.
But it does come with a Cosworth V8, a sequential gearbox,
full downforce, a complicated steering wheel,
a hand-operated clutch and all the other F1 trimmings as well.
For instance, included in the price is Geoff,
who is a fitness instructor.
Alfonso, who will cook for you and your friends,
and a team of mechanics who will accompany you
and your car to any race track in the world.
You also get a truck which is fitted with all the things you need,
including a Jean Alesi...
So let's just get this straight.
If I buy one of these cars, I get you,
a former Ferrari Formula One driver, to teach me how to drive it?
It is like that.
The only problem is that it is single seat.
-When you are in, you are alone.
You will have to follow my instruction.
Jean's first job was to get me comfortable in the car.
The position is extremely important, because it is where you will
have the feeling and the feedback from what is happening.
-Now, you see...
-No, that is not the correct position.
-Well, it is the position that I... that's it.
-It's my seat.
Because I was so...generously proportioned,
the only option was to remove the seat altogether.
-Well, I'm in.
-But I am sitting on the floor.
-OK, but now, with the foam, we will feel...
-With the foam?
-A special foam.
-It's like being taught by Inspector Clouseau, this.
Is there going to be a "minkey" coming in a minute?
No, we have a special foam, and you will really feel at home.
The foam fitting was rather disturbing.
Why... what are you doing? You're in my actual anus.
That was my actual anus that you put your hand in.
It is a part of the programme!
Things that just happened that I didn't think would happen today -
Jean Alesi, who I used to hero-worship, is playing with my genitals.
Compared to the Formula One cars of, I don't know, pick a period.
-'90s? Is this as fast as that?
-I would say '90s, yes.
A lot faster.
This is faster than a '90s Formula One car?
Yes, because you have a lot more downforce.
We have a floor which guarantees 60% of the downforce.
-Really? So, it's got more downforce than even today's Formula One cars?
-In terms of power, obviously it's down?
-We have 640 horsepower.
Which is really enough for 600 kilo.
Soon, I was ready for my first ever taste of Formula One.
Holy cow! Oh!
That's acceleration, and I'm not even going fully down on the throttle.
It's just terrifying. Oh, I can't turn the wheel!
My legs are in the way! God, this is quite horrible!
Unlike a Formula One car, which will rev to 17 or 18,000...
..this is limited to just 10,500, and I'm glad about that!
I've lost all the temperature out of the tyres. Oh, I don't like this.
No, no, no. No, I don't want this.
Thank you. I've driven a car that's got this much power before,
and I've driven a car on slicks before,
and I drove a car that weighs as little as this before,
but I've never driven a car that has all of those things.
Together. HE SIGHS
Nicer. HE LAUGHS
It wasn't nice. It had been terrifying.
And to explain why, I switched to my own car.
My mind tells me that it's OK to turn into the follow-through,
which is coming up now, at 90 miles an hour.
The thing is, in the Lotus, I have to tell my mind,
it's OK to go through that corner at 160 miles an hour.
And what's more, if I tried to do it in the Lotus at 90,
there won't be enough air going over the wings, so there won't be much
downforce, and the tyres will be cold, so there won't be much grip.
If I do it at the speed my mind says is safe, I will crash,
and I will be killed.
To stay alive, I have to go faster than my mind thinks is possible.
Then, there's the question of braking.
If I want to slow down enough at the hammerhead which is down there,
in this car which has enormous, ventilated discs, I would
have to start braking at this point, 140 metres from the corner.
But what if you braked the Lotus at this point?
So, he's come to a dead stop, never mind slowing-down enough,
60 yards from the corner.
So, what that means is,
when I'm driving the Lotus, I have to come past here,
with my foot buried in the loud pedal, still going like hell here,
still not braking, still not even thinking of braking
at this point, not here,
that would be stupid, I would look like an idiot.
My mind is now SCREAMING at me, stop! Stop!
You're going to be killed, but I'm still accelerating.
And when I get to about here, then I'll brake.
And I don't think I've got the balls for that.
To spur me on, I unchained the Stig.
Unlike me, this is a man that drives as fast as a car will go,
not as fast as he thinks he can go.
And what he's doing now is setting a lap time on our short circuit
in V8 powered Ariel Atom, the fastest road car we've ever tested.
He did it in 36.2 seconds.
So, can a fat, frightened 51-year-old man
overcome the limitations of his own mind and beat that time?
-Wish me luck, everybody.
Oh, bloody hell!
Going a bit too hard through there!
I've got to get used to these brakes!
They just feel useless
until you stand on them! It's all over the place!
I am literally all over the place here!
-37.9 seconds was my last lap!
The whole thing is jumping about like a wild animal!
Come on, Jeremy! Yes!
Oh, Jesus, no!
-Ballsed it up.
37.7. Oh, no!
Oh, for crying out bloody loud!
Clearly it was time for another chat with Yoda.
Gears for the corners, Hammerhead, second?
-Second, for the first one, for the left. And first for the right.
-First for the right?!
Yes, because otherwise, the car is pushing down,
-so you use the engine braking to make the back slide a little bit.
-Then, you keep the 6th for the fast corner.
-Keep the 6th.
-Then, second gear.
-For the Chicago. Through the tyres.
With the noise curfew on our track fast approaching,
this was my last chance to beat 36.2 seconds.
20 minutes. 20 minutes to try and beat that time.
Come on, now, come on! Come on! Come on!
Yes, finally, I have got the Chicago worked out.
Feeling cramp in my hands!
Oh, that's braking! And the neck! My neck is absolutely destroyed!
-That's 37 dead.
-37. Come on!
Ow, my head!
Come on! Come on! Come on!
-Yes! Yes! Yes!
Eat that, Stig! Yes, yes, yes!
I'm a Formula One driver! Yes! Yes!
-And I looked good.
-I looked good in that suit.
-I am slightly.
-No, well done.
It was good. But I'm slightly confused by this.
So, if you buy one of these, you don't actually race it.
No, what you do is, you hire a track, you ring Lotus,
they bring your car to the track with the mechanics, the chef, all the things
I talked about there, and you drive it around
until your neck hurts and then you go home.
-How much does all this cost?
You see, that is quite a lot. Is it worth it?
Well, if you're one of the Scottish people
that won the Euro lottery millions, then, you know, it's probably worth it.
I mean, you'd have to lose a few pounds.
-LAUGHING AND GROANING
-I don't mean that cruelly.
I genuinely don't mean that cruelly, and anyway,
people in glass houses. But, the fact is, it's agony. It really is.
I was going around Chicago, yet my head is just really, like it's being pulled off,
and you know you can't accelerate to go round to the Hammerhead,
-until you get your head upright and rested on the air box.
because when I drove that F1 car on the show a few years ago,
I could not believe how fast you had to go to make the thing work.
That car that you drove, came round here with the Stig at the wheel,
did a lap in 59 seconds, now we were very keen to find out
if this would go faster, so we brought it here and you won't believe this,
in the middle of July in a British summer, it was raining!
And in a show where we're already tight for a time,
there is no point entering a wet lap in this, what with that tell us?
So we'll get it back on a dry day and report back on how it does.
Now, it's time to put a star in our reasonably priced car.
Now, my guest tonight has long, straggly hair
and an incredible ability to heal the sick and feed the hungry.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jesus...
-it's Bob Geldof!
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-How are you?
-Have a seat. Sir Bob!
-Great to have you here.
You've topped what used to be called the hit parade,
you fed the world, but what a lot of people don't know, is that you built the M25.
I built the M23 and M25, Jeremy.
I didn't know you built the road to Gatwick.
If you know the Merstham interchange where you come off the 23
onto the 25, that is more or less were I had my road digging career.
And that is Geldof Corner. I know you've got Gambon Corner, which I'm sure we'll see later.
Geldof corner is there, hence the tailbacks for miles on the M25.
It's one of the best corners on the motorway network.
-And you built that!
-I built that.
Long before I could drive a car, they gave me the chance
to drive these immense machines which I think, it was 11 forward gears and six reverses.
Two engines. You've got two throttles,
you've got to sit like this with both feet on the throttles,
and a big bucket in the middle, which you drop.
-And is it hard?
-It's hard. I was crap. Yes.
-And so you ran over a herd of cattle.
I ran over practically the same thing, a guy from the county council.
On the haul roads, as they're called,
there are no other vehicles allowed.
And the county council guy was nosing around there for some reason.
I came around the bend, and here he was in his Renault 4L,
and he just saw this huge thing and this 18-year-old without
a driving licence coming down the track.
And I slammed on the brakes
and these huge tyres just rolled over the front of the Renault,
the bonnet, and I saw the windscreen pull away from the top
and just flatten the engine and he was just like this.
I don't know what was happening in his pants,
but I saw his face
and I thought he was dead, I thought I'd killed him.
He got out. The foreman came gunning up on his Land Rover and just, I thought I was gone.
I was just on the way out, and he was just SCREAMING at this guy who got fired.
-The council official got fired?
-Well, that saved the council a few bob!
I read in your road building career
that your nick name on the site was Dublin.
Wouldn't that apply to absolutely everyone, also working on the site?!
-Hey, Dublin! 5,000 people! "What?!"
No, because there were two crowds, essentially,
building the roads, certainly with this construction company,
there was a West Country crowd and there were as an Irish crowd.
It was like, I landed in India, not that long back,
on an Air India flight, and there were three other Air India flights,
and this is in India, and there was a man at the barriers
with a sign saying, Mr Patel, and I thought, that's not going to work.
It's the same as Dublin on this site. What sort of driver are you?
Not good. Really, I'm not.
I've got a Previa, because I had 600 children. And, you know...
-And 900 names between them.
-Yes. And all excellent.
And, you know, it's just, a superb thing.
You're up high.
You go like this and the wheel turns.
You've just got endless amount of power in the thing.
There isn't an endless amount of power in a Toyota Previa.
-It's a horrible car.
-No, it's not, it's really not.
I'm Mr Big on Toyota.
I've got a Lexus, so I don't pay the congestion charge.
-Oh, the hybrid one.
-And also, Jeremy, I think you should start now becoming a little
more environmentally aware. You know.
I am very aware of the environment
and I'm still not interested in it.
-You're a businessman now.
And you've got a lot of TV production companies.
So, how much time do you have left for music?
As most of the time, I do music, so there's still a lot of
the time spent on the Africa stuff, business stuff, music
and the family, but the only thing I like doing, being specific,
-the only thing that I like doing is music.
-You're touring, soon, aren't you?
-Yes. September and November here.
-So, North and South.
-Because you had the album out, what...?
Three months ago.
-Which was Bob Geldof age, it's actually, what was it, 58 and three quarters?
-58 and a half.
I was going to call it that, and then I saw a book called
How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell and I thought, that was more ironic.
It's a good title.
It doesn't fit on iTunes very easily, how to, oh, there we go.
-You released that three months ago.
-You know how to use iTunes?!
-What do you listen to in the car?
-What do I listen to?
-Rat Trap, I Don't Like Mondays.
-Classics from the late '70s.
-I presume you've got an iPhone thing.
-No, I don't have that.
We spent about two hours before this extolling the virtues of the Nokia 6310.
-Does anyone remember the 6310?
-Five days without a charge.
Well, that's how long I do, because I've got no friends, so nobody rings me up.
There's self-evident reasons. The jeans, being one.
-At least I put socks on!
-No, he came here.
-Look, I'm wearing a sock!
-But you don't have beautiful ankles.
A beautiful turned ankle is something that I admire in somebody.
Your lap, how did it go out there?
I am so crap at this. You start off, and you're really nervous.
I'm not a speed head, and then I start to enjoy it
and be able to focus on what Stig told me. And I slowed down.
-Who would like to see the lap?
Come on, let's have a look, let's see how it went.
ENGINE REVS AND TYRES SCREECH
Already, we need the bleep machine there. Right, first corner.
Where are we going? Nice, wide line, like the look of that.
-Might be time to change gear.
-So slow. Go, go.
You've got to change up. Where are we going?
Oh, wide, you see, that's too fast. That's skidding wide.
Clarkson, Stig said it's raining now and the track is getting slippery,
so, that's going to slow me down, so shut up, I'm not making excuses.
Let's have a look at this torrential rain, yes,
I can see what the state means. That's pouring down out there.
Wait, I don't mean pouring down, do I?
It looks so slow yet feels so fast.
No, that is just quite slow. Change gear!
Take this extreme bend at full throttle, which is frightening.
-Oh, I say, that's good.
-Your instinct tells you to slow down.
-Ooh! You managed to stay off the bumpy bit, there.
-This is the worst.
-0h, it is the worst. Absolutely awful. This is Gambon.
And you're...a little bit too slow.
Didn't use all of the road, but never-the-less,
across the line!
-Where do we think?
-What, Louie Spence speed?
-1.53... No, that was wet. Yours was dry.
These are all wet. You need to be looking above them.
I know they are as people, but with regards to...
-So, anyway, Bob Geldof.
-Don't say and I'll watch it at home.
-I'm embarrassed. Seriously. It was rubbish.
-You did it...
-Look at him!
You did it in two minutes...
-I fully expect that.
He was going, "Mmmm? Mmmm, really?" One minute 40...
point one. I don't think that is...
Faster than Jeff Goldblum!
Oh, God. Average at everything!
Well, not really. I was just thinking, you're - what are you,
-a Knight of the British Empire?
-You were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
And now, you are the 14th fastest celebrity ever to go round
-our track in a Kia Cee'd.
-You could have walked faster than that.
Hands up those that think you could do...who could be in the top ten if you did it.
Come on, hands up if you think...
-Ladies and gentlemen, liars, Bob Geldof!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Well done. Thank you very much. Bob Geldof, everybody!
-How are we doing for time?
-No, we're all right. We're all right. Just press on.
Now, the other day,
we received a challenge from the world demolition champions.
We're not actually making that up. There really is such a championship!
There is, and they said to us that they reckon they could knock down
a row of houses faster than we could.
So we were prepared to accept this challenge,
but first, we thought we'd do a bit of practice.
So we got in touch with our old friends in the Albanian Mafia
and asked them if they had anything that needed knocking down.
Luckily, they said, "Yes!
"There's a man who annoyed us very much indeed and it would be
"an enormous help if you would come over and smash his house to bits."
So, we did.
This is the poor chap's house. This is where he had obviously tripped up.
And these are the machines we'd be using.
That there is a digger.
That is a bulldozer.
And that is a big crane with the pecky thing on the end of it.
-Bagsy I have that, it's the biggest.
-Bagsy I have the bulldozer. I'm having it.
'With our choices carefully worked out,
'Jeremy was keen to get cracking...'
Come on! Go, go, go!
'..but I thought it best we first examine the house.'
This building is basically a steel-reinforced concrete frame -
a series of uprights and then beams joining them together -
and then all the gaps are filled in with these things, which are pot bricks.
These are not structural. They're there simply to...
Ye-e-e-s! You are history!
Oi! Not yet!
'Throughout the rest of the day, there were some issues.
'I, for example, was not that accurate with the digger.'
Oh, no, no! Hang on, hang on.
'Jeremy nearly caused a power cut.
'And when Richard stopped off in town to buy some tea,
'he got a bit confused with all his lorry's levers.'
Do you do tea? English breakfast tea for workers.
'But the biggest problem we had was the house itself.'
-It won't fall down. You try.
'If I'm honest, that wasn't a great suggestion.
'Everything else we tried failed as well.'
Back! Give it some welly.
'In fact, by the time Hammond got back from clearing up his mess,
'it was almost dark and the house was still pretty much intact.'
Baffling. Absolutely baffling.
Clearly, clearly, it wasn't our fault that the house was still standing.
No, which left us with two possibilities.
Either Albanian houses are built superbly well,
which seems unlikely, or those diggery things and the pecky thing,
that equipment was no good.
We very quickly concluded that it was the equipment that was no good.
So for our challenge with the experts,
we decided to use military equipment.
This is the Witham Army Disposal Yard in Lincolnshire.
It's a giant toy cupboard.
And everything you see here is for sale.
-Can we use this to demolish the house?
-No, you can't use any weapons. Just the vehicle.
Hammond, the driving position has got you in mind in a Scorpion.
-Is that what this is?
-Yeah. £30,000. That's what it costs.
Already, I'm seeing buildings just fall down of their own free will.
-Didn't James Blunt use one of these in Kosovo?
-It's got peddles!
I thought he had a guitar.
-It's the Stormer.
-Yeah, the Stormer.
-20 grand, maximum.
-Stormer! That's a good name.
So this, or a Ford Focus.
Inside, there was more. And soon, Hammond started to lose focus.
This is your absolutely bog standard British Army Land Rover,
cupboard for either, like, you know, parking ticket money or bullets.
-Oh, he's found a Land Rover.
-94,000 gentle miles. In a war zone.
Richard...not really what we're looking for.
-Please don't look at Land Rovers.
That's the fuselage of a Harrier.
These are fantastic.
Oh, no. Oh, my God.
Come on, chaps. Yeah, there's nothing else to see in here.
-Hammond's found the helicopters.
-Well, that's it. That's my life over.
'With both my colleagues now otherwise engaged, I went off on my own
'to find a vehicle that might be suitable for our demolition project.'
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Saxon.
It has an eight-litre, six-cylinder diesel engine.
Top speed - 30 miles an hour.
Or 60 if the tyres haven't been shot through.
It has all the things you need - power steering, automatic gearbox,
selectable four-wheel drive, grenade launchers.
Side windscreen wipers. Oh, yes.
'James, meanwhile, had decided that a Willys Jeep would be ideal.
'Although he was finding it quite difficult to explain why.'
Argh! Oh! Argh!
The problem is that while you could drive this through a hail of petrol bombs
and small arms fire and you'd be fine,
I'm not sure you could drive it through a building.
This is a 1977 Westland Gazelle helicopter.
One of the fastest helicopters built.
Top speed - 193 miles an hour.
Ha-ha! We've got to get us one of these. We need one of these.
Eventually, I nailed some sense into my colleagues and we all selected
the vehicles we'd be using for the demolition challenge.
This is a 434 Armoured Recovery Vehicle.
I've gone for it in this spec because it's got a crane,
which could be very useful to us.
But if all else fails, it weighs 15 tonnes,
so I could just use it as a sort of battering ram.
As you would imagine, mine is much bigger than Hammond's. This is a CET -
a Combat Engineering Tractor. And they're all very encouraging words.
It has a bucket on the front and many other things besides.
Unlike James's, mine is white. It's also absolutely excellent.
The tiller on the front is used for mine clearance,
but it can also be used for pulling down houses.
In my mind. What?
-Why is it white?
Yes, this very vehicle has just come back from the Middle East
where it cleared 100 anti-tank mines.
It's kind of focused on one thing, isn't it? Mine clearance.
It is a mine clearing... You aren't clearing mines.
We are knocking a house down.
You've focused on one thing and we are not doing that thing.
It's a very, very specialised piece of equipment.
This... Incredibly specialised - the cab is on hydraulic rams.
-It senses your weight, raises it to the correct height,
so that if there's a blast underneath, you're cushioned from that blast.
But it won't be, cos we're not clearing a minefield. We're knocking houses down.
You wait till you see what happens to a house
when it is presented with THIS moving at 400 rpm.
If the house explodes, you'll be OK, but that's about it.
-It just goes around doing this...
-It's like a mechanical cat.
-It's a military machine with some white paint on it.
-It isn't military!
It's for clearance and saving lives. Princess Diana had one of these.
The location for our demolition challenge was
the Christian Fields housing estate in Kent.
Each team would have to knock down six houses
and the professionals rocked up on the day
with a selection of conventional equipment
that we knew would not work.
As a result, they would be humiliated by Team Top Gear.
What a machine this is.
I'm doing very nearly the top speed of six.
'The other machines were considerably faster,
'so in order not to keep the chaps waiting,
'I decided to take a shortcut.'
I think he thought, "The things on the front go round and smash everything.
"I work for the United Nations."
-He failed to work out it'll be the slowest..
You don't suppose by any chance that...
Ladies and gentlemen, Jeremy Clarkson, sometimes known
-as the silver-tongued cavalier of the Cotswolds.
-I hope that was...to come down.
'Before starting, the professionals had a pre-demolition briefing.'
All the works today are going to be carried out under BSEN 6187 demolition code of practice.
Richard, can you hand out the method statements to all the guys
-and the risk assessments?
'Mostly, they talked about health and safety, so we thought we should, too.'
-Don't have an accident.
-Don't have an accident.
If you DO have an accident, remember it was an accident.
'Briefing over, we got on with discussing the job.'
-Why don't you do those, James?
Hammond, you do the cream ones, and I'll do this lot. That make sense?
-Two houses each then, effectively?
'With all the complicated maths out of the way, it was time to begin.'
OK. Brace, Brace, brace. We're going in.
Look at his... He's concentrating like mad.
He looks like an orangutan when he concentrates.
Firing up the rotors!
Why didn't we have this in Albania!?
Bricks flying everywhere.
This is bloody brilliant.
Stop there, stop there! Jeremy, the roof's going to land on it.
'This was no problem because my destroyer of worlds
'had a special device for protecting the driver.'
-Is that...a remote control for that?
-Yes, it is!
-You can drive the whole thing from there?
-Do you know how to?
-No. But how hard can it be?
-Woo-hoo-hoo. Look at that.
-Oh, my God!
-Now, stand back a bit.
-Really? Do you think?
Ooh. Argh, argh, argh!
'At the other end of the estate, the professionals were working methodically.
'First removing all the rooves.
'And I thought I'd do the same thing with my army tank.'
Mounted on the back of my 434 is a big harpoon. I'll fire that over
with a cable attached, connect the cable up,
drive this way, pull the roof off, get on with it.
Live and, well, go.
The grappling hook will catch on the roof. That's it. It's caught it now.
Yeah. Here it comes. Pulling the roof off.
Let's have a look.
It's not off.
'On the plus side, though, the house now had another upstairs lavatory.'
Why have you pulled a portaloo over a building?
-It was supposed to pull the roof off.
-This isn't demolition, this is just stupid.
-'Whilst Hammond persevered with his idiotic roof-removal system,
'James was busy drawing a diagram.'
The four walls are pre-cast pieces of concrete
and then in the middle we have this, which is the chimney breast.
Then there are steel RSJs running across, like that.
Everything else in between is just wooden floorboards. So, if we knock out that bit there,
which is holding the house up, the roof and everything else will fall into a neat pile in the middle.
'My plan involved pulling the chimney breast out, using
'both my winch and the sheer power of my combat tractor.
'But it was hard to concentrate with the orangutan around.'
It's got a mind of its own.
'Having got in everyone's way, he then started throwing
'massive lumps of road over the houses and into the next street.'
-What have you done?
-I hit a water main!
Well, you're an idiot.
'As noon approached, our rivals were scything through their houses.
'But now my ingenious cable solution would put us back in the running.'
Here we go.
Oh! Oh, it's so close.
Yes. Yes! Ha-ha ha!
'But despite this success, let's not forget we still had Jeremy on our side.'
I've lost control completely now.
'In the spirit of teamwork, I decided to clear up his rubbish
'while Hammond set about finishing off my house.'
I think I'll need to give this the beans. Let's not mess about here. In we go.
Oh! The roof came open. I didn't expect that.
Hammond, what's happened here, mate, is you are now the foundations of the house.
Um, I think I might be a bit stuck.
Hang on, Hammond. I'm coming.
Where are you going?
BANGING AND CRASHING
That felt nasty. What happened then?
James crashed into the corner of the house and now you've got a whole house on your head.
'May then winched Hammond's tank out...
'but Hammond himself was still trapped inside.
'Happily, though, as I'd finally house-trained my machine...'
Walkies. Yes! Good digger.
'..I was able to mount a rescue.'
Oh! I've scratched me tank. JEREMY LAUGHS
'By now, the professionals had pulled out an enormous lead.
'So, to try and catch up, I decided to dig even deeper
'into the military toy box.'
-What on Earth is that?
I put some explosives in the house.
You might want to stand back.
Because now I'm going to do... the long walk.
Is that the suit or his piles that's making him walk like that?
FIRE IN THE HOLE!
You've only blown the bloody door off!
'After that failure,
'we decided just to use our machines as battering rams.'
DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYS
Come on. Let's just get this job done.
Not going to use the rotavator. It's just TOO perilous.
Bloody hell fire! Ha-ha!
DRAMATIC MUSIC BUILDS
Go on. In you go.
'Finally, we were really getting somewhere.'
Oh, my God!
'The professionals had finished. They had knocked everything down.
'Whereas we...sort of hadn't.'
-Why don't we present them with a prize, OK...
-..standing just there?
-That's a good idea.
-And then give them a really loud round of applause.
-A thunderous, "WELL DONE, WELL DONE!"
-And throw the thing over...
Well done. You beat us fair and square. Well done.
Can we just point out something very important?
-Well, as long as you're quick, bike race.
-I know, I know, I know.
-Now you're wasting time saying, "I know".
-I know. I know.
OK, you may have noticed during that whole sequence of knocking the houses down,
not one of us was wearing a high-visibility jacket, a hard hat or substantial shoes
-and I think I'm right in saying that none of us was killed.
-And that is an excellent bombshell on which we could end, so...
No, no, no. I want to talk more about the machine.
No, I said in the film that this very machine, in fact,
had cleared 100 anti-tank mines. You're thinking,
-"How does it survive?"
I'm going to explain anyway, OK? This is one of the blades as it comes out the factory, yeah?
This one hit an anti-tank mine,
a mine designed to blow up a tank,
and that is the only damage that it did.
This is an astonishing piece of British engineering, I think.
-It is. We really must finish.
-What are they going to do? Cut us o...?
Oh, they have.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are challenged to knock down a row of derelict houses in less time than it takes a team of demolition experts to do the same job. Jeremy tests an updated version of the classic Jensen Interceptor and finds himself transported back to a 1970s world of leather driving gloves and droopy moustaches. The show also features the Lotus T125 which brings F1-style performance to the track, plus another celebrity guest attempts a record lap in the Reasonably Priced Car.