Top Gear fast tracks se­ries

Top car show team heads Down Un­der for two-day fest, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

TOP Gear pre­sen­ter James May says fast track­ing the lat­est episodes of the car se­ries in Aus­tralia will make his March visit Down Un­der eas­ier to han­dle. May says overseas pro­mo­tional vis­its have al­ways been fraught with dan­ger be­cause of de­lays in air­ing the show out­side the UK.

It means May and fel­low Top Gear pre­sen­ters Richard Ham­mond and Jeremy Clark­son have had to curb their en­thu­si­asm about re­cently filmed episodes on pro­mo­tional sor­ties.

How­ever, that won’t be the case for May, Clark­son and The Stig at the two­day Top Gear Fes­ti­val on March 9-10, at East­ern Creek, near Syd­ney.

Pay-TV chan­nel BBC Knowl­edge will fast track the new se­ries of Top Gear within a week of it air­ing in the UK.

‘‘It’s quite use­ful for us,’’ says May.

‘‘We have done live shows abroad and they’ve been a year be­hind and we have to re­mem­ber what we’ve done and what they haven’t seen and not re­fer to it.’’

May says a Top Gear seg­ment will be filmed while they are on their Down Un­der trip but un­for­tu­nately it won’t be in Aus­tralia.

An apolo­getic May says the pro­duc­ers in­tend to do some­thing sub­stan­tial in the fu­ture in Aus­tralia.

‘‘I prob­a­bly shouldn’t be telling you this, but we are go­ing to film a lit­tle bit, but it’s go­ing to be in New Zealand,’’ May says.

‘‘I can tell you the word Aus­tralia is writ­ten on a big white board in the of­fice where we jot down things we’d like to do.’’

May has been to Aus­tralia sev­eral times. One of his best mem­o­ries is of driv­ing from Syd­ney to Perth for a mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle a decade ago. He says that’s the type of seg­ment he’d like to shoot for the se­ries, sim­i­lar to other Top Gear travel spe­cials which have in­cluded the US, Viet­nam and Botswana.

‘‘I would love to do an­other road trip across Aus­tralia,’’ May says.

‘‘I did one about 12 years ago for a mag­a­zine, just me and a pho­tog­ra­pher.

‘‘We had a Holden and a Ford, be­cause we are not at all cliched, and we drove from Syd­ney through the Flin­ders Ranges down to the Bite and then to Perth.

‘‘I’d love to do it on film and we can eat Mrs Macs pies – they are tremen­dous.’’

Sun­days, 6.30pm, BBC Knowl­edge.

pre­sen­ters James May, Jeremy Clark­son and Richard Ham­monds

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