Top Gear (2002–…): Season 14, Episode 5 - Episode #14.5 - full transcript

Jeremy road tests the new Noble M600. The boys tried to make cars as an art by using artwork that is related to motoring. The boys even try to make their own artwork with a car-related theme. Jenson Button is the Star In A Reasonably Priced Car.

Tonight, I get scared half
to death on our track.

We host our own art exhibition

and the world champion
is in our
reasonably priced car.


JEREMY: Thank you, everybody!

Thank you.
Hello! Hello and welcome.

Welcome, everybody.

Now, a few years ago, we got
very excited by this,
the Noble M400.

But then the man behind
the company that made it
upped sticks and left

and then they
stopped making it

and then the whole operation
just disappeared
from the radar.

Now,'s back.

This is what
it's come up with.

Designed and built
by some blokes
I've never heard of

on an industrial
estate in Leicester,

it's called the M600.

the rather featureless body,

the chassis is made not from
carbon fibre,
but stainless steel

and the V8 that powers it
is lifted from this.

Yep. It uses the same engine,
albeit with
a couple of turbo chargers

that Volvo use in the XC90.

So, built in Leicestershire
from bits of
the Industrial Revolution

and powered by the engine
from a Volvo school bus.

And the cost?


And that does seem like a lot
for a car that has

no satellite navigation,
no climate control,

no airbag.

It doesn't even
have anti-lock brakes.

The men from
Leicestershire say

ABS is just another example of
the nanny state

sticking its nose in
and that's very admirable.

But you can't help suspecting

the real reason it doesn't
have ABS is because when
you're operating out of

an industrial unit
in Leicestershire,
you can't really afford them.

There's another
problem as well.
What kind of person

looks at the established range
of supercars and thinks,

"I don't like any of them"?

However, it turns out
that there is a reason why you
might choose a Noble,

rather than a Porsche,

or a Ferrari,

or a Lamborghini,

or an Aston Martin,

or a McLaren Mercedes.

You see,
in terms of sheer speed,

the Noble can
blow all of that lot
into the middle of last week.

Let me show you
what I'm on about here.

I'm currently
doing 40 miles an hour
in second gear.

Ready? Foot down.

And there's 60.

40 to 60 in one second! One!

In fourth gear,

100 to 120 in two seconds.

100 to 130

in three seconds.

It does 150 to 170

so quickly, your eyeballs
bounce off
the back of your skull...

like squash balls!

Braking, braking! Oh, my God!

You have to push.
There's very little
servo assistance there.

If you push too hard,

you'll lock them up
because there's no ABS.

God, it's quick!

That's mind-blowingly fast.

That is properly...

head-alteringly quick.

Flat out,
it'll do 225 miles an hour,

mainly because the engine,

despite the Volvo connection,

develops 650 horsepower.

And the whole car
only weighs 1,250kg.

And the news keeps
on getting better.

This, down here,

is exactly the same switch
that a pilot uses

in a Tornado fighter-bomber
to fire the missiles.

It was specifically designed
so it couldn't be
used by accident

and that is a good thing.

Because in here, what it does

is turn
the traction control off.

Argh! I wish I'd kept it on!


I really wish I'd kept it on!


The margin for
error in most supercars

is actually quite wide,
but in this,

it really isn't.


It's a constant knife-edge.

1% too much speed
going into a corner,

you get understeer, like that.

1% too much
throttle to correct it,
you've got oversteer.

1% wrong with the steering,

you're going to spin.

Remember, there are no
electronic driver
aids to help you out.

There's no medevac chopper.

You get it wrong,
you're on your own!

There is
a fantastic sweet spot
in this thing.

But even when you find it,

you're often too terrified
to enjoy the moment.

To really enjoy it
and to find it regularly...

- Wah! have to be
a much better driver
than I am.

I'm not really
doing this justice.

Driving it fast, then,

you need to be good.

But weirdly,
to drive it at all,
you don't.

if you wind the engine down
to 550 horsepower or 450,

which you can do
using this switch here,

it becomes a different animal.
It becomes completely docile.

Calm. No harder to drive
than...a Nissan Micra.

And like the old Noble,

it's quiet and
extremely comfortable.

It really does
ride beautifully.

Summing this car up,
then, is hard,
because let's be honest,

there are several
very good reasons
why you shouldn't buy one.

But there is one
very good reason

why you should.



RICHARD: So it's that fast?

That edgy?

It is.

Honestly, it's the nearest
I've ever come to
collecting a camera car.

I think that was
the first time I've ever

seen you properly
scared on our track.

Oh, I was! No, I really was.

It's not so bad when it's dry,

but when it's wet,
you have to have
the reactions of a housefly.

So not a fat, balding
middle-aged man, then?

not that, which is why

we are now going
to hand it over
to our tame racing driver.

Some say that you shouldn't
go round to his house

for your Christmas lunch,
unless you enjoy the great
taste of seagull...


...and that the reason
he always wears a helmet

is because a man once
smashed him in the face

with a model of
Salisbury Cathedral.


All we know is
he's called the Stig!

JEREMY: And he's off!

We've had rain for the past
few weeks, now we've got
a dusting of snow.

Still hoping for good things,
since Stig is one
of the few things

that can really
get to the bottom of
a Noble. He loves them!

That is...nice through there.

Beautiful on the way out.

# In the bleak midwinter... #

Appropriate music
for this weather,

performed in the style of
a Kray brother's funeral,

A bit of
twitchiness on the way in,

but tasty on
the way out of Chicago,
now Hammerhead.

He came in very fast,
as I discovered earlier,

but Stiggy knows
how to drive through
and find that sweet spot.

# Oh, God
Oh, my king... #

Right, time now to unleash
the twin-turbo
kick in the kidneys.

He does seem to be
sawing at
the wheel a lot in there.

It is a brute, this car,
but the Stig isn't fazed.

That would be
literally impossible.
Two corners left.

He's still working hard,
but the car
itself looks really composed.

Coming up to Gambon,

slices through there
and across the line!


OK. Here it is! Here it is.

And it goes...


RICHARD: Hang on,
you've just gone above a 599.

- Yes. And above a Scuderia.
- That's that fast Lambo.

- And above the Enzo.
- That's an Enzo up there!

Past the Veyron.
Past the Zonda convertible...

- Whoa!
- there!

So it's expensive,
but it works?

- That is...
- I knew it would be quick.

Excellent. Right...

Now we will do the news
and we begin with this -

it's a new Aston Martin.
It's called the Rapide.

You can think of it as a DB9
with two extra doors,

and that means there is room
back here for two extra
fully grown adults

to enjoy the 470-horsepower
V12 motoring experience.

And they can enjoy
exquisite details,

such as these
magnetically located
grab handles, look.

It won't flap around
when you're driving along.

All this is
yours for £140,000.

Now, that is
quite a bit more expensive

than Porsche's four-door,
the Panamera,

but there are two very good
reasons why you should
choose the Aston Martin.

Firstly, and unlike
the Porsche, it does look
rather magnificent.

And secondly, most
importantly, this is
quintessentially British...

despite the fact
that it's made in Austria...


...which I
think is in Germany.

OK. Now, as you can see,
we are surrounded here

by a mountain of
Christmas present ideas.

I say present ideas -
actually, it's landfill.

Oh, yeah.

We haven't got time to get
through all of it, but I want
to start with this.

Now, perfume, as we know,
is a very
popular Christmas gift.

Big names - Givenchy, Chanel.
Now look - the RAC.

- Yes!

The RAC has launched this.
They're calling
it Eau De Voiture.

Ooh, sounds promising!

What you do is
you spray it into your car

and it makes it smell like
a minicab.

It's quite strong!
- Have some of that.


- It is like a minicab.
- Because it smells...
Oh... (BLEEP)

- My eyes!


You cretin!

I'm blind!

The thing is, what it does -
and I've really
got a lot of it now -

is it's one of those smells
that makes you think it's
covering up other smells.

Like Femfresh.

- Yeah.

Because it's
a very strong smell
in its own right,

but it suggests that
there are other
things masking...

You get notes, don't you?

You get
suggestions of...

I can smell the fruity stuff,
but also a bit of stale wee.

I can get a really,
really beery burp.

all the things you'd expect
in a minicab. Definitely.

I have another
gift suggestion here
for Christmas.

Are you fed up with people
bumping into you in
a crowd situation?

- Yes, I am!
- Well,
I have the solution here,

with these small, ear-mounted
human indicators.
I kid you not.

What happens is,
I'm walking along,
say in a shopping centre...

Here I am in
a shopping centre...
Oh, you'll be the crowd? OK?

There's a danger of jostling
here, cos I'm going to
that shop on my right.

You can indicate!

So now you know
and you can take
evasive action.

- And you can go left?
- Yes.

I fancy
the record shop over there.

Everybody knows
what's happening.
I think it's a very good gift.

Human indicators!
So how much are they?
Do we know?

- Oh, I don't know.
Some money.
- JEREMY: Some money.

Land Rover are taking
a very pragmatic approach

to the Christmas gift idea
and they have produced this.

It's the Land
Rover distress whistle
and it will cost you £1.50.

I want to paint
the scene for you.

You're in the wilderness
in your Land Rover

and you drive into
an impassable gully.
You become stuck.

It starts to
fill up with water.

You're out of food,
you're almost out of fuel.

You cannot get a signal
on your mobile phone

and you're bleeding heavily
from a severe abdominal wound.
But it's OK!


If I was there with you

in that situation
and you produced that whistle,

- I would beat you to death.
- That's nice to know.

Well, yes.

Look at this superb shirt.

It's got
everything you need, really.

It has a web address here -

it's stitched
into the collar -
and then on the back,

look at that - Mercedes-Benz.

- That's classy.
- Oh, yeah.

Really, honestly, it's hard
to think of any way that this
could be improved.

That says, "I have a washing
machine and everything else I
own is already in it."

But, James,
you like a flowery shirt,
so why wouldn't you like that?

Well, why would you want
a web address?

I think I've found
a way of improving it!

OK, this is a bad thing.
That's a bad thing.

What... It's got out of hand.
It's all right.

- No, it's gone out. Relax.

That's actually quite...

Jeremy has set fire
to the Christmas presents!

I have actually set fire to
the Land Rover teddy bear...

You know
the smoking rules in Britain?



- My eyes!
- RICHARD: Sorry about that!

Anyway, look, I think...

- It's still on fire!
- It's not.

It's smouldering, that's all.

Look at this!

It's a fork on one end
and a 10mm ring
spanner on the other.

And the best thing is,
there's another
spanner in the middle! Look!

No, but this means
you can go seamlessly
from mending your motorcycle

to eating a pie
without even pausing.

- Look at this.
- Wow!

No, you say wow. OK?

This is some packaging...
You know
the sort of packaging?

You're going to
sever your fingers
getting in there, OK?

But it's worth it. When you
get in there,
you've got this metal thing.

Then you get
underneath your car,
use what fingers you have left

from opening the packaging
to attach it to
your exhaust pipe.

And then it makes a noise
which fools other road users

into thinking
that your car
is turbo-charged.


Is it like that
waste-gate noise
when you lift off? Brrrr-rrrf!

- Do it again.
- Brrrr-rrrf!

We could attach you -
it would be easier.

It's not really
going to fool anybody
bolted onto my Panda, is it,

whatever sort of
noise it makes.

you know how difficult it is
to choose the right calendar.

Cos, obviously, you choose
it now and you've got
to live with it.

- It's a big commitment.
- It is.

For 12 months,
you have to live with it.

So I'm a bit stumped on
what I'm going
to use next year,

because there's this one, OK?

This is Her Majesty's
Prisons of England.

Different picture,
OK, every month.

But then I found this one -

Birmingham's Outer Circle
Municipal Bus Route.

Ooh, nice!

But then I found, I think,
the solution to my
calendar problems.

The Unofficial...

JAMES: Oh, yes!

- ...Richard Hammond.

Who did that? It's awful!

JEREMY: Unofficial...

You can have it, James.
I've got loads.

Why are you drunk
in all the pictures?

I don't know.

It looks like all the pictures
were taken coming out
of award ceremonies,

so, yes, I probably was drunk.

Do you know what I really love
about that calendar?

Because it's unofficial,
you all go and buy one,

he receives not
one single penny.

I know, I know!
Thank you for publicising it.

- It's very kind of you.
- Just make sure
they've all got it.

We'd like to
recommend this calendar.
Everybody go and buy it.

Get rid of the damn thing!

Let's do the rest of
the show like that.

Why does everything get broken
in our Christmas thing?

Moving on,
as we know, the Lottery Fund
has spent millions of pounds

turning old warehouses
in places like Liverpool and
the West Midlands

into art galleries.

And we also know that they
have all been
an unmitigated failure.

We think the reason for this
is because they haven't got
any cars in them.

Art experts will tell you
that cars aren't art.

But we think they can be.

Because back in the 1970s,
BMW started making things
like this over here.

It's a 3-litre CSL,

but the bodywork has been
painted by American artist
Alexander Calder.

Then in the '90s,
there was this,
a 3 Series race car,

but the body's
been painted by artist
Sandro Chia. Then over here,

an 850 CSI.
That's been painted by
British artist David Hockney.

galleries would never accept
this sort of thing these days,

and that, we reckon,
is exactly why
they're failing.

So we decided to take over
the Mima gallery
in Middlesbrough,

and using nothing
but motoring-based art,

we would attempt to
get 30,000 visitors
through the door,

up North, in a single week.

And that's as
many as Tate Britain
gets in a week in London.

This is the North,
which is where
Northerners live.

And this is the art gallery
we've taken over.

We'd simply clear
out the paintings

Northern people plainly
don't want to see,

and fill it with
motoring exhibits
that hopefully they do.

To decide what these exhibits
would be,

we went to our
secret motoring art base
in Surrey.

- What on earth is that?
- Well, it's a car.

The artist claims
that he makes these
by painting them

and then driving
a remote control
over them. I mean, I like it.

- I like it.
- I quite like it.

- It's got
a joie de vivre to it.
- Yes, put it in!

(GASPS) It's Damon Hill
in the wet. Superb.

- That goes in.
- Do you know what I think?

What he should have done
is just given us that bit.

That would now look like one
of Monet's visions
of his lily pond,

but it would be
about Formula One.

It does have
a Monet quality to it,
there's no question.

I'm sorry, gentlemen,

this is the worst
painting I've ever
seen in my entire life

- and it's not coming.
- RICHARD: Or is it?

Maybe this is a commentary
on the superhuman,

almost alien nature of
a Formula One
driver at this level.

- Because clearly,
this isn't human.
- (LAUGHS) No!

That much is
immediately apparent.

What it's done is suck
the life out of this corpse
in the overalls here.

All of that is gone,
drained out by this creature.

You're right.
This is coming with us.

This is
properly amazing stuff.
And so's that.


I think in Middlesbrough,
this will go well.
Why-aye, a tab!

What they're doing
is refuelling his car
and he's having a tab.

That is, without doubt,
the centrepiece
of our exhibition.

It's exquisite work.
- That is not going in.

- Hammond...
- It cannot go in!

JEREMY: We went round the room
ticking the yeses.

Look at the way they've
captured his moustache so
beautifully here.

Not just that moustache,
but the other two
moustaches as well.

So this is a collage
out of press
comments about him.

JAMES: Ah, I see.

JEREMY: Excellent.
Definitely going in.

Oh, gentlemen!

Gentlemen! I bet you any money
that in the North,

people will be
stunned by this.
It's a V8 shark.

- If it provokes a response...
- It will provoke a response.

JEREMY: In addition to the
pre-prepared art, we'd be
making some ourselves.

James, for example,
was keen to make a sculpture.

I've decided to
deconstruct the car,
literally, as you can see,

and artistically,

and then rather than try
and rebuild it as a sculpture

that speaks about the car,

I'm going to do
it as a sculpture
that speaks about my emotions,

my feelings
when I drive a car.

Inspired to some
extent by Picasso...

What you need to bear in mind
is that if you
can get an artist,

somebody with frizzy hair
and sticky-out teeth,

to say it's art,
then it's art.

While James set to work
on his big metal face,

Richard went off to create

a modern-day interpretation
of Constable's Hay Wain.


Unlike Richard,
I'm not very good at drawing,

because I didn't
go to art school.

So my painting
will be done by this.

The 2005 Red Bull F1 car.


Its 3-litre V10
will be my brush.


All we need now
is a tame racing driver.

Some say he has
a massive chin,
and that's true, he does.

Because he's David Coulthard.
So are you ready for this?

I think so, yeah. I'm still
trying to get my head
round the concept.

OK. Well,
the idea is very simple.

We are going to put
paintballs into the air box.

They will then shoot out
of the exhaust, OK,

and into the canvas

that I'll be
holding behind the car,

so we'll sort of
splatter the canvas
using this car as our brush.

- Sounds beautiful.
- Apparently it's triggered

to start firing
them at 5,000rpm.

So you need to go to 5,000.
Can you do that?

I think I can
probably manage that.

So if you want to hop in,
mate, I'll go and stand
behind the vehicle.

Actually I might just put
some protection on my head.

I've done some weird things
in my life,
but this is up there.

All right then, David. Ready!



Argh! Argh! Oh, God! Oh!

My plums! Argh!

I tell you, I'm not giving him
that's for sure.


Things were going badly
for me, but they were worse
for Sir Henry May.

Oh, God!

Every day, over 10,000 people

go to the National Gallery
to see The Hay Wain.

But more will
come and see this,

because it's got more of
a social statement about it.

Also, because I'd substituted
the hay wain for a Zonda.

It's poetry in paint.

Plums now protected and using
a stronger aluminium canvas,

Coulthard and I
were in business.

A plane of light
just bouncing off here.

Then work it in, work it in...

With the paintball
painting finished,

I was now busy on
another creation.

What I'm doing is
spraying the car

with a special paint
that shows up best
in ultraviolet light.

Sorry, sorry!

So when I've finished,

Mr Coulthard is going to take
it for a spin round the track.
It will streak,

showing me
where the airflow has gone.

Sorry, sorry again.
Sorry, mate.

With the car dripping wet,
David set off.


But unfortunately
some of the paint
had gone on his visor.

Oh, dear!

After wiping his helmet,
he set off again to
create some 200mph art.

You sprayed my helmet.

You shot one of my testicles.

Oh, I see, that helmet.
That was, I admit, a mistake,

but you should see
what has been achieved.

When we put this
under ultraviolet light...

- Can we edit the spin out?
- Yes, we can edit that out!

You promise?

Projects completed,
we reconvened at
the secret base,

where our exhibits were
to be assessed by Rupert Maas,

an art dealer
from the Antiques Roadshow.

It was a lot better than this,
I have to be honest.

The problem was,
it didn't dry.

It's sort of still happening,
isn't it?


It's actually...
It's performance art,

because it has streaked
in a living...way.

Yes... fell off the easel.

I mean, it really is nature
and the automotive world

- absolutely
crashing together.
- It's very good.

- Very good.
- When will nature...

Quite. I have to say,
I think it is probably

more compost than art,
but thank you.

RICHARD: Annoyingly,
Rupert seemed to
be quite interested

in James May's big face.

It's called
Acceleration Face Number One.

I mean, I was inspired
to some extent by
Der Blaue Reiter...

- Oh, yes.
- ...and some of
the works of that era.

- And African masks.
- Exactly.

The African mask
has had an influence
on it. It's very angular,

it's quite simplistic,
it's quite primitive.

- Has it been on fire?
- No.

- Your opinion, sir?
- What does the expert think?

Well, let's have a look at it
in the round, you know.

- I quite like the welding.
- Oh!


We can repair this, James.

We can repair...

- That's better!
- Wow!


- RICHARD: You see?
- The Mona Lisa
of the scrapheap.

The rest of
the visit wasn't any better.

Is there anything here
that catches your eye?


- Does that one work?
- No.

- Is this no good?
- No.

- Does it work on
any level for you?
- No.

- Does it have artistic merit?
- No.

So all of this is terrible?

Well, frankly, yes.

Well, thank you very much
for coming along.

- Thank you.
- I value your opinion.

-I won't necessarily
pay attention to it.

In fact, none of us will.

-Thank you very much
for coming, Rupert.

Feeling a bit disheartened,

we decided to try and create
our own BMW art car.

We need to agree on
a light source
and a viewpoint.

Our genius plan was to paint
the inside of
the car on the outside,

with James taking the bonnet,
me the side,
and Jeremy the boot.

(AS ROLF HARRIS) Can you tell
what it is yet?

Jeremy, though,
didn't quite get the idea.

Right, red for the blood.

Er, mate...


It's supposed to be
what's inside the car.

How do you know there isn't
a horse's head in the boot?

For our final creation,

we had to cut a car in half,
which meant using

a dangerous plasma cutter.

That meant
we had to take precautions.

I could help.

JAMES: You can't do
this with a hammer.

That's exactly why
you're taped to a chair.

This is like a scene
out of Reservoir Dogs.

Don't give us ideas.

- Guys...
- What?

...where did
you find that car?

Well, it was just outside
with all the rest
of them for this.

Cos it says here,
RJO4 RWZ, it's a rental car.

- Thank you very much. Now...

...we'll see how that pans out
later on,

but now it's
time to put a star
in our reasonably priced car.

Now, my guest tonight
won the 2009 Formula One

World Drivers' Championship.

He won the 2009
World Constructors'
Championship for Brawn.

And when he was pipped
to the BBC's Sports
Personality of the Year award

last weekend, by Ryan Giggs,

he won the 2009 trophy
for the best forced smile.


Let's see
if he's still
gritting his teeth.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Jenson Button!


Thank you.

He's here.

- OK?
- Congratulations.

- Thank you.
- Well done.

Jenson Button,
Formula One World Champion!

- Whoo!

- Have a seat.
- Thank you.

Have a seat.

OK, that's
the congratulations over.
Now the commiserations.

Because, of course,
this time last week...

Did anybody see
Personality Of The Year?

- Yes.
- Yes.

I mean, let's be honest -
Ryan Giggs, he's 73!


And he can still
kick a football.

I think you do need
an award for this, actually.

We have actually got a clip of
the moment.
If you want to look away.

Everyone else can see this,
here we go.
This is the moment.

Um, well, that is a shock.
That is a big shock. Um...


- Yeah.
- That is...

That is a...

- That's
a rictus grin, that is.
- Yes.

I could be
an actor with that, no?

No, you couldn't.
You really couldn't

because what I loved was when
he said, "I haven't got
a speech ready,"

I thought, "No,
but the man behind you has."
So anyway,

I just want to know because
I'm sure loads of people
will be interested.

It was actually
this time last year,
there you were

gearing up for a new season.

You had got Ross Brawn
on board who's obviously
a genius designer

and then the call
comes through from Honda

that they're pulling out of
the sport. How did that feel?

It was difficult.

I'd just got back from...
I was in Lanzarote doing
some fitness training.

So I was all ready
for the new season.

I arrived at Gatwick and I got
a message from
my manager saying,

"Um, it's over.
Honda are pulling
out of the sport."

It was a really
difficult thing
to take in. Because, you know,

we were going to be racing
in 2009. We were going
to have a competitive car,

possibility of winning races.

There was a lot of work
that went into
that car and, er,

it would have been an absolute
tragedy if it
wasn't on the grid.

So all I could do
was stay focused

and try and help the team
as much as I could.

And that's what we did.

We got through
the difficult winter
and we produced a car...

And this was when
Ross was able to buy

- what remained
of the Honda team.
- Yes.

Er, you came here last time

having not won a race
in Formula One and you had
done about 140-eleven.


And you said that
you would cheerfully
give up the jets,

the lifestyle, the Monte Carlo
for that first win.

But the thing is,
that you damn nearly
did give up

all that
lifestyle to go to Brawn,
didn't you?

I mean,
how big a sort of cut was it
in terms of...everything?

you know, there were 700-odd
people working at the factory

and they had to
scale down the team

so obviously there were some
redundancies, which was tough,

even for
the people that stayed.

Um, but we all gave
as much as we could

and we tried to
help as much as we can.

I suppose it's impossible
to say, "No, I want N
million dollars a year,"

when people are being
made redundant. Because you
went to 20% of your salary

or something.

Can't remember
the figure at the moment.

But, um, you know,
don't feel sorry for me.

- I know.

But that first test that you
did in what would
become the Brawn car,

were you
surprised how fast it was?

Um, I knew we had built
a good car because all
the numbers said so

in the wind tunnel
but until you
actually drive it,

yeah, you don't know 100%.

But we bolted in
the Mercedes Benz
engine in the back

because obviously
it wasn't made
for that engine.

We had to sort of
trim the chassis down

and make sure the gearbox
fitted, just about fitted
with some spaces

and what have you.

And went out and tested it
at Barcelona,

and after five laps
I really felt
comfortable in the car.

And I came and said, "Guys,
this is all right.
This is a good baseline."

Even though it was
a last-minute botch job to get
the Mercedes engine?

"This feels pretty nice."
My engineer came up to me
and said, "Jenson,

"you are seven-tenths
quicker than anyone

- "and they've
tested for three months."
- Seven-tenths?

Which is a lot of time.

That's three
years in Formula One.

- It's massive.
- Oh, yeah.

And then, every race,
people were
putting on big packages

and for us to try
and keep the advantage
was impossible.

So, yeah, it's been
a very tricky season.

Leading the championship
from start to
finish sounds easy.

But it's not.

It's really, really hard.

Um, now, obviously,
we are obviously looking
forward to you versus Lewis.

Are you going to
be able to beat him?

That's the aim.
I wouldn't be doing it if not.

I tell you, that's going to be
a fascinating battle.

This is a massive buzz for me.
This is so exciting.

I've been in F1 for ten years
and having
the chance to race, um,

alongside Lewis at McLaren,
it's something I'm
really excited about.

Can we just talk about
your road cars?

- Yes.
- Have you not got a Veyron?

Yes. I have.

Can I just ask
what's the fastest
you've driven it?

Um, 70 times...
Less 10%... 77.


- It's actually been here.
- Do you believe him? Has it?

I sneaked in one day
and unlocked the bars
and drove round your circuit.

Had a bit of a practice.

- Was it any good here?
- It was all right,

except for you had, um...

No, I can't actually say what
I was going to say
because I want to sell it.


So anyway,
obviously you came here
into our Liana.

I tell you what,
I had to change
my driving style here.


I think it was the snow,

You say that,
you are such a fusspot.

No, seriously, listen to this.
You've got to listen to me,

I'm a guest.

- All right then.

Go on because it'll just be
a racing driver excuse.

No, it isn't an excuse
but I jumped in

and I sat there
revving the engine,

with the heater on, thinking,
"I'm so nervous. This thing,

"you know,
is an amazing bit of kit."

I've learnt so
much coming here.

I'm really going to take it
into the 2010 season.

- Amazing.

Who would like to
see Jenson's lap?

- ALL: Yeah!
- Here we go.

It's obviously the old Liana.


JEREMY: And there it is.
Haven't seen that for ages.

- JENSON: Look
how wet it is.
- It's damp.

Think like this is for
the World Championship.
Come on, JB.

JEREMY: It's more important
than the Formula One
World Championship.

Look at it, it's greasy.

In F1, if it's wet, the tyres
work. If it's greasy,
you just slide.

It's superb.
You're holding on nicely

- through there.
- A little bit
slippery out here.

- It is interesting,
that first turn.
- Look at that.

Yes, I'm impressed,
no power understeer.

First turn you
took the wide line in.

A little bit wild, JB.
Come on!

At least I'm not singing.

You're not singing.
And Lewis has a different line

in that first corner
and he's adamant about it.

So there you go, you see.
Now...that's tidy.

I tell you what. I'm more
scared driving this than I am
a Formula One car.

- I was.

- This bit here is scary.
- Yes. If you go on
the red and whites

it's slippery.

I think they should put this
on the F1 calendar.
This place rocks.


Oh. That was nice
and close to the tyres,

made them move.
Second to last corner
here. Let's have a look.

Yes, that's...
That's got the back out a bit.

JENSON: Yeah, it's fun, eh?


JEREMY: Come on, it's Gambon!
Got the back out again.
And there we are.

Across the line.

I thought that
looked quite good, that.

- So... Aha!


Here we go. Jenson...Button.

Mm... See that?
I didn't even lean forward.

You will.


No, really.
Where do you reckon?

It felt good.
Very, very slippery
but I could slide the car

through the corners. It was...

It was fun. I don't think
I'm quicker than I was before

because it was dry.
How would I be?

Well, Lewis was here

in exactly the same car
in exactly
the same conditions.

They really were exactly
the same.

I'm a better driver
than I was then.

- You did it...

He's a 1:44.7. You did it

in 1...40...



- Oh, you're kidding?!
- You just missed out.

- But give him a huge one.

Oh, wait a minute,
I'll give you the wet.

Look at that.

Point two.
Do you know what it was?

It was that showboating
in the last two corners.

It was fun, though.
That little thing is so fun.

It is. You should
try the more powerful
Chevrolet Lacetti.

They wouldn't let me
have a go in that one.

because that's
the Formula One car.

Anyway, ladies and gentlemen,

I give you our World Champion,

- Jenson Button.
- Thank you.

- And actually...

And, actually,

your face will be
back in a minute

because what we're going
to do now is pick up our
art gallery film.

RICHARD: James and I arrived
by aeroplane
fresh from the South.

Where do Geordies
actually come from?

- Geordies are
from the North-East.
- Maybe they're all Geordies.

Then there's others.
Foggies, aren't there?

There's the Foggies,
and the Muggies
and monkey hangers.

- I don't know what they are.
- Are they all
types of Geordie?

- Well, I think so.
- Or are they?
Maybe they're different.

They all say "why-aye"
so they must all be Geordies.

JEREMY: As our BMW art car
was so valuable,

I decided to drive it
to the exhibition myself.

What I have here
is a 3.5-litre
straight-six painting.

It is art that moves you,
quite literally, moves you.

the Middlesbrough Institute
Of Modern Art,

Captain Sense of Direction
had decided to
make an audio guide

that would steer visitors
around the exhibits.

If you turn through almost
180 degrees to your left,

or even to your right,
in fact,

because it, of course,
makes no
difference whatsoever,

and walk straight ahead
towards the wall,

and rotating to your right

not quite through 180 degrees
but probably about 155...

RICHARD: I, meanwhile was
on the road, touring
the local radio stations

in a bid to drum up
some support for our show.

This is fantastic.

I've got a van.

I've got a list
of phone numbers
and I've got a mission.

I'm a PR agent.

...then walking through
the white door, we arrive at
the upstairs gallery.

that's not quite right.

You need to come
out and turn left,

or turn right if
you haven't gone
through the white door,

through the glass door,
which you push.

You are then in
the upstairs gallery.

RICHARD: The first stop
on my publicity
tour was Radio Tees.

Who cares about the weather
because it's the weekend.

Who cares when
Top Gear is in town.

And Richard flipping
Hammond is with us.

Yes! Here comes the publicity.


Welcome to Teesside.

of course, used to work here
and everything like that

many, many years ago.
Why are you here?

Well, it's great to be here.
I did used to work here,

I worked in a lot
of radio stations
for not very long.

What are you doing?!

- ...So yes, I worked here...
- Talk about the exhibition!

...and I have fond memories
of working here.

Nobody's interested
in your bloody memories!

Because I started in
Radio York in 1989.

Oh, for crying out loud!

the rest of the interview,

Hammond brilliantly

I've just started something
called Blast Lab,
a kids' science show.

Oh, for God's sake.
This is ridiculous.

To make matters worse,
in the gallery,

May was busy ignoring our
instructions to make the audio
guide interesting. it was codenamed
during development,

rejecting the complicated
suspension of its forebear,

the Allegro,
in favour of a straightforward

steel-sprung chassis
with a torsion-beam rear axle

derived from a design
already used to great effect.




Yeah, I'm doing it.

I've... No. I've just.... Yes,
I know it's got to be
done by half three.

I can't do it because
people keep ringing me up

and asking me if
I've done it yet.

JEREMY: As I bore down
on Middlesbrough,

Hammond's publicity tour
was going from bad to worse.

Yes, I did, I started in 1989
at Radio York.


Yeah, absolutely, I think
Total Wipeout has been
a tremendous success...

I'm going to
have a heart attack!

...people have to
climb a platform

and in front are four massive
red inflatable balls
and they have to...

Total Wipeout is just
idiots falling over.

Talk about our art exhibition!

The good people of Hartlepool.
Hammond is in town
with his PR machine.

JEREMY: At Mima, the other
idiot was in the gallery
of motor racing -

a subject about
which he knows nothing.

pictures of racing cars
going around corners...

Hopefully, these cardboard
boxes won't be here by
the time you arrive.

There's a man on fire.

There's a car
going along, um...

And then I had a problem.

I was coming round the corner
doing about 27mph
and a cow was there.

And I just had nowhere to go
because of this...

I tell you,
there was a school bus...

Well, it was a bus
full of children,
handicapped children,

and I saw some
ginger ones on it,
so I just...

I thought,
"Well, I have to miss that,

"so I'll put it in the ditch
rather than
injure the children."

That story didn't wash.

Take a deep breath, sir.
Lips around the tube,
constant stream of breath.

Keep going, keep going,
keep going. Thank you.

The good news was,
I scored zero.

The bad news came when the car
was towed out of the ditch.

That's not too...
It is quite bad. Oh, God.

And my attempts to mask
the damage with T-Cut just
made everything worse.


This was
an important exhibit for us,
this car.

I'm casting around in my head
for someone to blame,

and it's
keeps coming back at me.

So, when we met up, I decided
to do the honourable thing.

And go on the attack.

Did you hear what
he did on the...?

I did hear what you
did on the radio.

-I've been
working my backside off.
-You've done one interview

and you talked about
Blast Lab, Total Wipeout...

-He didn't ask
the right questions...
-I told you...

I know more about PR than you.
I was on top of it.

Listen, none of this detracts
from the fact, and I can
read it in your face,

that you've been an idiot
and you have
ruined the whole event.

By the way,
thanks for asking!

-I'm fine.
-We don't care.

As the exhibition was due
to open the following morning,

we agreed to stop bickering
and get to work.

James went off to
rouse the troops

and Richard
relaunched his PR campaign.

My work is complete.
One mobile billboard.

But better still,
just to really
give the message,

what I've done is actually put
one of
the exhibits from the gallery,

on the move,
lit and everything,

so people can see it,
I'll leave the door open as I
am driving around.

That is PR.

- I'm good.
- Good.

I was with Stephen Wiltshire,

the artist famous for creating

incredibly detailed
drawings from memory.

So which bit of New York
do you think you're going to
put behind the car?

I'm gonna put the...
I'm gonna put
the Brooklyn Bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge, OK.

Out on the streets, the PR
machine had adopted a more
personal approach.

People of Middlesbrough.

Tomorrow morning
is your opportunity
to soak up some art.

Madam, in the black tracksuit.

Sir, in the white tracksuit
top, you could visit Mima.
You, young man,

in the grey tracksuit
trousers. You, sir,
in the blue tracksuit top.

Tomorrow, nine o'clock at
Mima. Art is for the masses.
Art is for you, sir,

in the black
tracksuit trousers,
and you,

young man,
in the blue
tracksuit trousers.

There is a festival of art
available for you.

JAMES: Back at the gallery,
it was all go.
Each of us had chosen

what he thought
was the best-looking
car of all time,

and Jeremy and I were busy
installing them.

Richard had gone for his own
Series 1 Land Rover,

Jeremy for
a Ferrari 275 GTS...

No, it is absolutely terrific.

I bet if you turn
the radio on,

it'll just be the beginning
of The Italian Job,
that music.

...and I'd gone for
a Lamborghini Countach.

How long have you talked about

the Lamborghini Countach for
on the audio tape?

Please tell me it's no more
than two seconds.

A few minutes.

It's a very important car.

So, this idea that...
Seriously, James...

You're only thinking in terms
of numbers of people
coming through...

Yes, that's the goal.

But they have to
come to a gallery
and experience some art.

OK, what's this, James?

This is how I want to see
the people of Middlesbrough,

On your left, there's
a Lamborghini Countach,
that's a Ferrari 275 GTS

and there's a Land Rover.
In here, we've
actually got our art car.

That's the speed
I want them to be doing.

If they saunter,
if they're
standing there, saying,

"Oh, look at the wire wheels,
look at the seats..."

the log jam.

JEREMY: There was, however,
a more immediate problem.

Oh, hang on a minute. Hang on.

JAMES: Is it too wide?

- Well, yeah.
- We cannot not have it.

- Can't it just be there?
- Well, not really.

the Countach was brought in
on a special giant thing.

And with that done,
we went to check on Stephen.

So that's four hours,
and it's gone
from a blank piece of paper

to that, James, in four hours.

JAMES: That's extremely good.

How many times
have you been to this place?

Twice, in Brooklyn Heights.

You remember the detail
on this bridge, just from
standing here two times?

That car is astonishing.

I know,
and you're
pedantic on these things.

- That's really accurate.
- Spot-on.

Darkness fell,
but still Hammond's
PR onslaught rumbled on.

We've stuffed the Mima
gallery full of things people
want to go and see.

Obviously if it's
automotive themed...

And long into the night,

James and I were arguing
about where
the art car should go.

So what,
you want to position it

to draw people's attention
to the bit you crashed?

Well, yes.

No, disagree.

- OK, it needs to be...
- Leave it like that.

Please go, get on with
your next job. I'm very happy.
Leave it there.


Show day. And, amazingly,
our exhibition was
looking rather good.

We had installed
many thought-provoking
pieces, including Stig World -

a video installation where
visitors could get
a glimpse of what goes on

inside his helmet.

We also had our
masterpiece called,

What's Europcar
Going To Say About This?

obviously, our BMW art car.

We knew that all this
would bring in the multitudes

and prove that motoring
is the way forward for
the nation's art galleries,

so we went onto the roof
for our first
glimpse of the queues.

We'll be able to
look at the crowd
from over here.

Are you ready, steady...?

It's not that big, is it?

It was a disaster.

And the news from
the outlying car parks
was even worse.

It was like a scene from
The Omega Man.

It's now ten to ten.
As you can see,
we've been open 15 minutes.

And there's just...

Officially now, the people
looking after the exhibits

the number of people
looking at it.

My carefully
prepared personal lectures
were a complete waste of time.

For me, the artist has managed
to avoid any kind of branding.

It's just simply pure...

To hit our targets,
we needed 800
visitors an hour,

but it just wasn't happening.

Just doing
a rough head count here.

- About... That's...
- It's not a lot.

That's 75 people, tops.

By midday,
the numbers had
picked up a bit,

but instead of following
a prescribed route
through the gallery,

everyone was all over
the place thanks to James's
useless audio guide.

JAMES: And then walking
through the white door,

we arrive at
the upstairs gallery.

that's not quite right.

Into the next room,
the door of
which should be open.


Bloody Nora.

But I can't do it
because people
keep ringing me up

and asking me if
I've done it yet.

I can't even turn it off.

JEREMY: Worse still,
Hammond had forgotten

to do his
homework on the exhibits.

That's a Ferrari 275 GTS.

As you can see,
the lines are...

It's... It's lovely. Yeah!

-Nice colour.
-Yes, it's a lovely colour.
Yes, it is.

We called
an emergency meeting.

OK, right, what are we doing?
What are we doing?

not very good at this.
Can I just point that out?

It's going to work.
Just relax.

What's going to work about it?
This is a catastrophe, James.

-It's not
a catastrophe...yet.
-It's a catastrophe.

Plainly, Hammond's
PR had been rubbish.

So, to bring in the crowds,
we needed to find one.

And we did.


At half-time, we would make
a hearts and minds appeal for
the Middlesbrough fans

to come to our
show after the match.

Sadly, though,
we put Captain Geordie
in charge of our outfits.



Is this not..?

Is this...?

Give us a minute.


People of the North-East,
we apologise for
that terrible mistake.

We are here to ask...
we have an art exhibition

at the Mima Gallery.

We need your support.
We have Ferraris,

we have Richard
Hammond's Land Rover.

Er, anything else?
No. Oh, there's one thing.

Nottingham, you can't come.

The away fans responded
with good grace.

(CHANTING) You fat bastard,
you fat bastard,
you fat bastard...

You fat bastard!

though, our plan worked.

In you come.

If you start shuffling
through that way...

Soon the place was packed,
which meant I could finally
unveil our centrepiece.

Without a doubt,
the highlight... the highlight
of the show so far...

How much do you
have to hate somebody

to sit down with
a piece of cloth
and then do that to him?

Among the crowd was
a learned art scholar

who could see
James's sculpture
for what it was.

- Are you saying
it's a bit crap?
- Yeah.

Nothing to see!
Nothing to see!

The crowds, though, meant
we had a new problem with
James's audio guide.

Not only was it still
getting everybody lost,

but as I'd feared,
it was also
extremely long-winded.

JAMES: ...and latterly,
to 5.2 litres, an expansion

that was
accompanied by the fitment
of a new cylinder head...

- Hello?

JEREMY: This meant
the visitors weren't

moving through the
gallery fast enough.

Have you been listening
to the audio guide?

-How is it?

Pretty boring.

With bottlenecks
springing up everywhere,

there was no way
we'd get the numbers through,

so I was forced to shorten
my personal lectures a bit.

Right, everybody, there's only
one interesting thing in here

and it's that painting there
of the Bentley.

you've seen it, off we go.

There we are,
that's a BMW, we've done it.

In here's a Formula One car
with some paint on it, lovely.

Right, out. Out.

You, you, off you go.

James, however, simply
didn't get
the idea of this at all.

Does a cat know it's a cat?

Does a dog know when it's old?

What does he actually know?

What are you doing
with them up there?

Well, I'll tell you
exactly what's happening.

getting into a room

where James May is talking
and they're stuck.

This called for
drastic measures.

These are stink bombs. in machine terms,
he's extremely
bright, but he's inanimate.

Does he have any feelings?

Can we transfer
our own feelings
onto the crash-test dummy?



Rodin's Thinker
is sort of naked.

- Oooh, bit of an itch.
- The point of art is,

you have to interact with it,
you don't just look at it.

What's that stink?

Sorry about that,
it's unfortunate, but...

If you'd like to move
to the exits now. Tremendous,
thank you for leaving here.

Sorry about the smell.
I've no idea
how that happened.

Soon the crowds were moving
along at a fair old pace,
which meant

there wasn't much
more we could do.

We've got the best exhibits
that we could have got.


- We've done
the best PR that we can do.
- Oh, yeah.

It's now time
for us to bail out
and let the numbers roll in.

With that, back to the studio.

I finally got to say that.



I have the figures here.

we had to beat 30,000.

Yes, so...

And what we actually managed

Yes, yes.



so half what we needed, then?

Yeah, we were halfway there.

But this is still
an all-time record
for the Mima Gallery.

-Yes. That is brilliant.
-We did it.

-Sort of did it.
We did something.
-Cars are the future of art.

They are,
and that is a bombshell,
and that means we can end.

we're back on December 27th
with an elongated special

in which we drive
across South America.

That is quite something.

But until then, have a very,
very happy Christmas.
Take care. Good night.


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