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ROUTE 66. What is it – driv­ing down it, hav­ing a look? Fair ques­tion, Karl Pilk­ing­ton. He is, af­ter all, about to set off on a 4000km road trip in what he hopes is a con­vert­ible, and he’s strug­gling to muster en­thu­si­asm. More than usual.

‘‘ The thing that wor­ries me, is it Amer­ica that’s made this seem like it’s a good thing to do?’’ Ricky Ger­vais asks him what he means. Karl: ‘‘ I just think they’re more ex­citable.’’ Then Ricky and Stephen Mer­chant force him to smile. Then an­other one, this time with teeth show­ing. Ricky’s like, that looks weird. Mer­chant: ‘‘ Re­ally weird, I’ve never seen it be­fore.’’

Later, as he’s packing, Karl tries to un­der­stand the in­ter­est in what is, let’s face it, a road. ‘‘ I don’t think Amer­i­cans come over here and go, ooh, where’s the M1, I can’t wait to get on the M1.’’ Again, it’s a tiny bit hard to ar­gue with this logic. He also has an anec­dote about the M6 Pre­ston by­pass. And, in­deed, if you sub­sti­tute M6 for Route 66, well: ‘‘ I’m go­ing on the M6 to­mor­row.’’ ‘‘ Are you? Lucky bas­tard.’’

He likes Santa Mon­ica though, even if the pi­geons

M6 by­pass: Karl Pilk­ing­ton

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