Top Gear (2002–…): Season 19, Episode 3 - Episode #19.3 - full transcript

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May engage in an epic race from Wembley to the San Siro stadium in Milan. Hamstrung by a rule about price, Clarkson maximises his bang-for-buck with a $55,000, 662 horsepower Shelby Mustang GT500 while Hammond and May pin their hopes to the ever-improving pan-European rail network. Car-loving singer Amy MacDonald is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car.


Top Gear S19E03 Wembley to Milan
Corrections & sync: Wally73.

Tonight, I stop for petrol,

Richard wears some sunglasses,

and James sees some shirts.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

Hello. Good evening.
Thank you so much, everybody.

Thank you. Thank you.

Now, we begin with this.

It is the Toyota GT 86, a car
which has stirred the soul

and indeed the trousers of every
petrolhead in the land.

But, unfortunately, to explain why

I need to be a little bit boring.

What we have here is
a front-wheel drive car

going around Chicago Corner
in an exuberant manner.

If we slow the film down,

you can see the front wheels are
fully turned,

but the car is ploughing straight on.

This is called understeer.

Now, here we have another car
coming around the same corner

in the same exuberant fashion.

However, because this one is
rear-wheel drive,

the back end is sliding out of line.

This is called oversteer.

Now, for reasons that are extremely
difficult to explain

to normal human beings,
petrolheads prefer oversteer.

We like the front end to grip
and the rear to be all loose

and that means we prefer rear-wheel drive.

But rear-drive cars -
Jags, BMWs, Porsches, Mercs -

are complicated to make and that
means they tend to be expensive.

That brings me back to the new GT 86 -

a rear-wheel drive car that
costs just ?25,000.

Whoo! Ha-ha!

It gets better.
The engine is a flat-four boxer unit

so the pistons go like that and that
means it can be mounted low down

and that means a low centre of gravity.

And there's no turbo charger
so there's no lag.

Everything about the GT 86 is immediate...

and brilliant.

And I haven't got to the best bit yet.

To make sure that its tail
is as waggly as possible...

HE LAUGHS

they use exactly the same
sort of skinny little tyres

they use on a Prius.

And what it means is the petrolhead
can enjoy some tail-out action

at low, non-frightening speeds.

Look, here we are, 30 miles an
hour, well within the speed limit,

and the tail's gone!

You might think it's daft

fitting deliberately ungrippy tyres
on a car.

You might think that you'd
inevitably crash, but would you?

Well, let's find out.

How hard is it to slide this thing
at 80 miles per hour

the wrong way round the Hammerhead?

Not hard.

You could drift this car
while reading a book.

So I did.

"Some regard non-echoic irony"

"as being produced by semantic reversal."

Interesting point.

Because of the thin tyres, it's
obvious the GT 86 was not designed

to set new lap records at the Nurburgring.

And with a 197 horsepower,
two-litre engine,

it won't win many drag races either.

What it will do,
though, is put a massive smile

on the face of every motoring
enthusiast in the world.

It isn't even stupid.

It comes with easy finance
and a five-year warranty

and cruise control and Bluetooth and
air-conditioning come as standard.

There's a boot too, which is big
enough for things

and in the back, a couple of seats.

There are, however, a couple of problems.

One, it doesn't look
particularly interesting

and two, it has a deadly rival.

Welcome, everyone, to the Subaru BRZ.

Like the Toyota, it has rear drive.

And a low-mounted two-litre boxer engine.

Like the Toyota,
it'll go from 0-60 in 7.7 seconds

and onwards to a top speed of 137.

And the similarities go further than that.

Both cost the same.

They have the same bodies

and the same interiors with
the same equipment.

They're even built by the same
people in the same factory.

You might imagine, then,
that it's quite hard to

choose between them,
but, actually, it isn't.

Watch, because this is how you do it.

Eeeny meeny miny moe
Catch a teacher by his toe.

When he squeals let him go
Eeeny meeny miny moe.

Toyota it is.

APPLAUSE

A-ha, now we must find out how
fast the winner of our

eeny-meeny-miny-moe test goes
round our track and that, of course,

means handing it over
to our tame racing driver.

Some say that,
following the vote on gay marriage,

he's got engaged to James May's lawn mower.

And that he's become convinced this
week that Henry IV is buried

under the Follow Through?!

All we know is he's called The Stig!

And he's off.

Skinny Prius tyres scrambling
for grip on the damp track

could make for some big slides.

Let's be finding out
here on the first corner.

He's keeping it remarkably tidy so
far. That is a bit of a surprise.

RADIO: ? Oh, Canada. ?

Stig still obsessed with national anthems.

No need to tell you where that's from

and no surprise the GT 86 did go
a bit sideways around Chicago.

Right, Hammerhead now.
ABS pulsing hard under braking.

Suspect it might oversteer here.

Yes, there it is.

It is very, very tail happy
when it's greasy.

Bet Stig's smiling, though.

RADIO: ? From far and wide, Oh, Canada... ?

Now, will we see a small brown
Richard III from the Follow Through?

I think we might. Looking a little
bit out of shape there.

OK, now we just have two corners left.

Here we are, little bit of opposite
lock going in there to keep

it all tidy and now Gambon.

Here he comes and - guess what? -

he's sideways again, but across the line.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

It did it in one minute, 11.7.

APPLAUSE

I made that up.

LAUGHTER

It was a little bit slower.

It was a lot, lot slower actually.

1.31.03, so there we are.

But, once again, we must turn to
the baby Jesus who once said,

"He who shall be last,
shall be sideways and smiling."

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

And now it is time for the news
and the news is Subaru has announced

that there will be a new Impreza,

but that it won't be coming to
Britain. I'm sorry, what?

Yes, there is a new one but we're
not going to have it in Britain.

They're not going to sell it.

The Yob-mobile is not going to be
sold in Britain? That is so.

But how will our studio audience get
here every week? I've no idea.

I'm not joking. Every single week
our car park is 75% Subaru Imprezas.

Don't worry about our car park.

What's going to happen to Wales
because, once again, those of us

who choose to live in the countryside
are not just ignored but abused,

it would seem deliberately,
and I've had enough, seriously -

the end of the Impreza.

I mean, they've taken our libraries,
they've taken our post offices,

they've taken our bus services
and they can never take our freedom.

It must stop.

Crikey! Hammond's gone mad.

It's the end.

You say that, Hammond,
and indeed they have because they're

only going to concentrate now on the
Forester and the Legacy Outback.

And the BLZ that
I was just talking about in my film.

Well, technically, yes.
Sorry, lads, I don't care.

You're rambling on about cars
that don't matter.

Wait, what do you mean
"technically, yes" on the BLZ?

The thing is they did a deal with Toyota

when they did their joint
venture thing. Yeah.

And the arrangement was,
for every ten Subarus that are sold,

they can sell 90 of the Toyotas.

So you can order a Subaru
and have it some time in the future,

or you can have a Toyota this
afternoon, sir. You're kidding?

But either way, you can't have an
Impreza. That's the key issue here.

You may as well just get
rid of the countryside.

All right, all right, Hammond.
That's incredible.

I thought it was
all about the ban on fox hunting.

It is a good question, though.
What are yobbos going to drive?

I don't know.

Well, if you are a yobbo
and you have a suggestion,

write it down on a note, attach it to brick

and throw it through our window

at 201, Wood Lane, London,
W, wherever we are, 12.

Hammond. What? You like a Camaro,
don't you? Yes, I do.

OK, well, they've made one just for
you. Here it is. There you go.

Funny!

LAUGHTER

Ignore the little one,
that's a Hot Wheels one.

What they've done is a full size
Hot Wheels model of the Camaro.

So they've made a full size
version of a model which is

a miniature version of a full size car?

Yes, I can't understand the logic
myself but that's what they've done.

That's a brilliant idea. Is it?

That will survive an 800mph impact
with a giant skirting board

and come out completely unscathed.

The worst thing about Hot Wheels is

when you get up in the night
for a pee and you tread on one.

Or Lego.

Or an upturned plug.

No, Lego's worse. Why?

Because an upturned plug is big.
Lego hides in the carpets.

You can't see it.

Is there anything worse than an
upturned plug for treading on

in the middle of the night?

A land mine.

LAUGHTER

A tiger? Your house, James...
I know something worse.

Dog BLEEP? I was about to say...

LAUGHTER

It's the, "Ow-splat!"

If you have a lot of dogs, it can happen.

You have horses in your house.

I did. On occasion, yes, it has happened.

Have you ever trodden in some horse
manure? Possibly, unbeknownst to me.

I just had a warm foot.

Anyway, if you want a full size
model of a toy car,

it's basically a Camaro with Hot
Wheels written on it, it's ?40,000.

But it will be worth more
if you keep it in the box.

LAUGHTER

Ooh, now, business news.

Yes. Important business news.

Classic car values have been
shooting through the roof

in recent years and months
and I think I know why.

If you put your life savings
in a bank, what is it nowadays,

half a percent interest?

So if you put ?25,000 life savings
in the bank you get...

125 quid.

It is about 125 quid a year
back in interest.

Now, if you'd have bought ten years ago

an E-Type Jag for ?25,000, it would
now be worth ?80,000.

?80,000, and you'd have had
an E-Type to drive around in,

cos you can't drive around in a bank
statement. Makes perfect sense.

And there's no tax presumably on the
profit on a car? No, there isn't.

On a car, you can sell it
and not pay any tax on it.

But there's quite a lot of cars doing
that. Ferrari 275 GTS.

If you bought one of those
ten years ago, ?130,000,

now half a million in ten years. I know.

It's staggering how cars have gone up.

The difficult thing is knowing
what to pick next,

spotting what's going to do that.

Talk to me. Really?

So, Jeremy, what's going to be...?

I once bought a BMW
three-litre CSL for ?3,000.

They're now worth 40, 50? Easily.
How much did you sell yours for?

1,500 quid.

LAUGHTER

I am the man you turn to.
Come on, your top tip.

Subaru Impreza probably!

LAUGHTER

We ought to take this quite seriously

because we could actually dispense
sound financial advice.

A car I've noticed has gone up
a lot in recent years

is the Rolls Royce Corniche.

Yeah, like the one you've got, James.

How much is it worth now, James?
About a million pounds. Is it?

That's nothing compared to
the Mercedes 600 Grosser.

Ah, such as the one you've got,
Jeremy. ?1 billion.

Really? A billion pounds?

It's now a billion to buy one of those.

If anybody's interested,
give me a shout after the show.

You know the old Maserati Quattroporte?

We all agreed on this actually. It
was one of the most want-one cars.

You just got in and wanted
one of these. Fantastic thing.

For me, though,
the only problem with it was,

I thought its headlights were
a bit too small.

They were out of proportion.

There's a new Quattroporte
been announced. Here it is.

I think it's got the same problem.
It's got piggy little eyes.

It looks like Ray Mears.

A bit fat and lives on squirrels.

Do you know the best thing about Ray Mears?

You know he always wears those
very tight shorts?

Well, when he bends down to
whittle something,

you can always see a testes.

LAUGHTER

That is the best thing
about Ray Mears? Not the best thing.

The occasional glimpse of chicken
skin outside of his shorts?

LAUGHTER

No, you know what I mean. No, I don't.

Don't bend down, Ray. Oh, no, there it is!

One of the boys has popped out.

Anyway, if you do want a Maserati,

there's a V6 turbo which is ?80,000

and a V8 turbo which is ?108,000.

I did want one quite a lot.
You have now ruined it.

And that's the end of the news.

Now, over the years, we've had many
big races across Europe

and in every single one of them,
the car, driven by me,

has always beaten public transport.

However, since the last race,
public transport has got a lot faster

so the producers thought it would be
a good idea for us to have another.

Yes, and they announced
that they had one ticket

for a Champions League football match to be

played between AC Milan
and a Belgian team called Anderlecht

down at the San Siro Stadium
here near Milan.

And the first of us
to get there could have it.

The start would be here
at Wembley Stadium in Wembley.

As usual, James and I would be on
public transport, buses,

trains and tubes.

And, as usual,

Jeremy would be making
the 800-mile journey by car, except

obviously for the Channel which
he would have to cross by boat.

There was, however, one difference
because the producer said to me that

I couldn't just turn up at the start
line as I usually do with

a ?350,000 super car made
out of rhodium and myrrh.

No, they said the car he chose had to
cost no more than ?35,000.

So, just to summarize, Jeremy would
be slower and we would be faster,

so you can see why were feeling
just a little bit confident.

To have a hope of making
the kick-off in Italy,

the start time was an alarming 3.30am

and, rather worryingly, at 3.20am,
Jeremy still hadn't arrived.

Right, so 35 grand. He's not going to
get that much power for that, is he?

No. What I'd do, to be honest,
even though it's a bit boring,

is get something like a diesel Audi,
cos it will go fast enough

and you'd be comfortable
and you get the range.

BM. Or a BM, yeah.
Get something reasonable. A Volvo.

Even a Mercedes for that.

'Soon we had an answer.'

ENGINE ROARS

Yeah, what he's done, he's gone for
a Mustang. A Ford Mustang.

There they are.
Oh, he looks pleased with himself.

Dear, oh, dear.

What do you think of that?

Well, you do know, don't you,
that just because a car has

go-faster stripes on it, it doesn't
actually mean it goes faster?

I know.

You wouldn't go through Europe in
a Stetson with chaps on, would you?

He would. So why? Come on! Because...

Mustangs, very good straight line
quarter of a mile.

That's what they're for. This
is 800 miles across Europe. Yep. No.

Have you quite finished
because have you seen the time?

Actually that's a very good point. I
think we need to get cracking. Yeah.

'And so, at precisely 3.37am
the race began!'

Mustn't spin the wheels on the
pitch. Mustn't break the pitch.

Here we go... again. Oh, look.

That's it, now we've got to
play for England. It's the wardrobe.

Look, there's Adrian Cole's shirt.

Right, 16 hours to kick-off

and I've got 814 miles to go.

'For the first part of their
journey, Richard and James would

'have to catch a night bus and then
an overland train to St Pancreas.

'I, meanwhile, had a choice.'

So, North Circular M25,
or straight through London?

3.45 in the morning, I'm thinking
straight through London.

ENGINE ROARS

Wake a few people up...
in Sheffield, in fact.

Morning.
I'd like a single to Hendon overland.

First Class, that must be upstairs
at the front. Is it? I don't know.

I haven't been on a night bus
since the late '80s,

but when I did, it wasn't like this.

I was envisaging a sea of sick,
sloshing from side to side.

If you're sophisticated or intelligent,

in other words, European,

you might think James May has a point.

That this is a stupid car.

In fact, if you are from the land of
Wordsworth and Shakespeare

and Right Honourable Gentleman,

you probably think
the Mustang is a bit daft.

A codpiece, really, for the shorter chap.

You still have a Mustang, don't you? Yes.

Judi Dench, June Whitfield, Melvyn Bragg.

These are NOT Ford Mustang people.

Would you drive it to Milan?

I wouldn't drive it to Cheltenham.

I mean, it's lovely. I like Mustangs,
but they're not fast.

You know how people who don't ride
bikes think Harleys are fast,

and they're not? Mmm.

It's like that.

'This particular Mustang,
however, is not like that.'

In America, this car costs
the equivalent of ?35,000.

It is very cheap.

But its engine produces 662 horsepower.

ENGINE ROARS

That's round about 100 more than you get

from a Ferrari 458 or a Mercedes SLS.

It is, in fact, the most powerful
road-going V8 ever made.

'And today, I will need that power,

'because since we last did
one of these pan-European races,

'the seesaw has tilted
to make life harder for the car.'

You see, the train they're using
to get to the Channel

is 20 minutes faster than it used to be.

And to make things worse,

they've stopped using the JetCat
things to go across the Channel.

I have to use an old-fashioned ferry,

and that's 40 minutes slower
than it used to be.

So even before I get to France,
I've lost an hour.

An hour ahead. Doesn't stand
a chance. You can't make that up.

Yeah, well, you're right. Well, unless he tries
to make it up in a Mustang, round a corner.

Then he'll just be up a tree.

'It's true.
Mustangs are not good at corners.

'But that wouldn't be a problem
for me on the motorway.

'What was a problem was fuel consumption.'

Since I left Wembley,
I've done 12.6 miles to the gallon.

That's not brilliant, is it?

'And nor, as it turned out,

'was the Mustang's voice activated
telephone directory.'

Richard Hammond.

DIRECTORY: 'For media device, say,

'"User device," "USB line in,"
or "Bluetooth audio."

'For settings, say,
"Phone or Voice settings."

'For sync services, say, "Services."

'If a route is active, you can say,
"Next turn," "Update route,"

' "Route status..." ' Shut up!

Look, St Pancras.

Do you want to go before we set off?

Please come in. Thank you.

Oh, this is nice!

'Or see the tips available at
www.saymyroute.com.'

HE SCREAMS Please, stop talking!

As we waited for the train to depart,

the tension on board was electric.

HE SNORES

It is about ten years since
we did one of these races

with James and me on public transport
and Jeremy in a car.

A few things have changed.

Amongst them, ten years ago,

my esteemed college would have
managed to stay awake.

Obviously those days are gone.

It has caught up with him.

Nevertheless, the race is still going on.

And here is Jeremy.

And he appears to be in Dover.

I was indeed boarding HMS Yesterday,

where I found out that not everyone
shares my views on the Mustang.

So I mocked this thing
all the way through London.

I mocked it, actually,
all the way through my life.

But there is something about it which is,

as you can see quite appealing.
People like it.

I think it appeals to our inner
nine-year-old.

TRAIN INTERCOM BLEEPS

'Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard...'

He's not really French. It's just...

HE ADOPTS FRENCH ACCENT I find the
girls respond to this accent.

It works very nicely.

'Please ensure that your luggage is...'

Lugg-age!

Our new, faster train
thundered across Kent,

and was already under the Channel

when HMS 1924
finally lumbered out of Dover.

Why are we going so slowly?!

We used to be able to
go across the Channel in 50 minutes

and now it takes 90 minutes.

It doesn't make any sense!

We're already steaming ahead
through here somewhere,

and he's just there, look.

Miles ahead. That's incredible.

'And thanks to the speedo app on my phone,

'we could keep abreast
of our immense pace.'

177 miles an hour.

He's not doing that, is he? No.

'In fact, I was only doing
a Victorian 23 knots.'

I'm going to ring May because, as
you can see, we're nearly in France.

PHONE RINGS Here he is now.

Jeremy Clarkson.

May, yes. 'Yes, hello.'

Where are you?

We are about 15 minutes outside Paris,

and about 200 miles into France.

You're what? 15 minutes from Paris?

Yes.

Ahh... OK. I'm not...

not actually in France yet.

What, you're still on the boat?
RICHARD LAUGHS.

This is a setback, I admit.
But enjoy your cockiness.

Well, he's had it!

Right, they are now arriving in Paris.

Right, next train.

There you go. Paris, 275km.

So they are 275km in front of me.

Do you ever get the impression
you're completely wasting your day?

On the plus side, Hammond and May
now had to get across Paris

to catch their train to Milan.

Which wouldn't be leaving
for another 80 minutes.

It's one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven.

'That meant I could close the gap

'and I had just the engine for the job.'

It's a big, 5.8L, supercharged V8,

but unlike most traditional American V8s,

this one isn't made from
melted-down box girder bridges.

It's actually quite sophisticated.

The block is made in Germany,
where they know what they're doing.

It's got plasma-this and Stellite-that.

The propshaft is even
made from carbon fibre.

Hopefully, then, it won't explode

when I introduce it to what
we Europeans call speed.

'0-60 in this car takes just 3.7 seconds.

'And the top speed is 202.'

And I needn't worry
about the police, of course,

because I'm an Englishman in American car,

and the French, well,
they love that Anglo-US combination.

It makes them feel all warm and gooey.

Bonjour, monsieur.

Will you carry my bag for me for
a bit? Er, let me think about it.

Um... no.

Uh-oh!

50 miles to empty. Fuel level low.

I've got to go for a pee now.

I think that's the ladies! I don't know!

It's all women in there!
Go and have a look.

They always have. It's French.

No, it's just confusing.
I'm going to hold onto it.

'At the petrol station,
I discovered a problem.'

You are joking?!

It's only got a 50L fuel tank?

50L? What's the point of a 50L fuel tank?

So I'm doing the maths.

50L, that's about 14 miles to the gallon.

Which means I'll have to stop
every 140 miles.

'As the Mustang set about draining
its fuel thimble, the phone rang.'

PHONE RINGS

Hammond. 'Hello, how are you?'

'Are you still in Paris?'

We're just setting off now, yeah. What?

We're leaving Gare de Lyon now.

And you're 100 miles ahead of me already,

and you'll be increasing that lead?

The thing is, mate,

we've still got quite a long way to go,

and I don't want to put an end
to all this right now,

but you have clearly had it.

PHONE HANGS UP That is really not good.

They're on the super fast train,
and they're now doing

100 miles an hour more than I am.

Sit rep -

I'm going to lose!

APPLAUSE

I mean, normally,

normally I win those races by minutes.

Yeah, well, seconds, actually, when
we raced the Ferrari to Verbier.

No, no, you're absolutely right.

So to be an hour behind
before I even got to France,

the situation was pretty bleak.

But we shall find out
what happens later on,

because now it is time to put a star
in our reasonably-priced car.

Now, my guest tonight drives
a Bentley Continental.

AND a Range Rover,
AND has an impenetrable accent,

but isn't a footballer.

She is, in fact,
an incredibly talented songsmith.

Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome Amy Macdonald!

CHEERING

How are you?

Good, thank you.

Excellent! Look who's here!

Marvelous!

Now, as you say yourself,
you're not really a household name,

but you have had
some EXTRAORDINARY success.

Yes, I like to think so.

How many albums have you sold now?

We're close to about five million, I think.

Five million albums!

You started when you were...

well, you were 15 or something,
when you picked up a guitar?

Yeah. What are you now? 25.

25! Yeah.

And it's not just Britain, either,
it's all across Europe.

Yes, I've been very fortunate

with the support I've had in places

like Germany or Switzerland or Holland.

I've been very lucky with it.

Do they understand
what you're on about there?

Erm, most of them understand.

I have had the odd strange comment.

One in particular was,
"Now that you're successful,"

"will you learn to speak English properly?"

LAUGHTER

And will you?

LAUGHTER I still haven't!

Sorry, Scotland! Couldn't help
myself! Couldn't help myself!

And you're a rare thing, actually.

You're a Scottish person who
actually still lives in Scotland.

Is that right? Yes, I do.

You're not like Connery
and all the other ones

who live in the Bahamas and go,
"I love Scotland!"

"I love it so much, I live in Monaco."

That was a Scottish accent, by the way.

That was terrible.
It was dreadful, I agree.

So you are really, I mean,

one of the biggest petrolheads
I think we've ever had on the show.

On a scale of one to ten,
where would you put yourself?

I don't know, I mean,
I went through a phase

where I was stat crazy
and I knew everything.

I knew all the brake horsepower
of everything that was coming out,

and I just was obsessed by it.

I've just... Ever since
I passed my driving test,

it's just been something that
I've been really excited by

and just exhilarated,
and I love the thought of cars.

I know you had a big love affair

for quite a long time, actually,
with the Audi R8?

Yes, I did. That was my first true love.

Before I even passed my driving test,

and when I was able to buy that car,

it was just a moment of...

I was sitting behind the wheel,

and you see the little badge that says R8,

and actually had to say to myself, "No!"

"No way!" Was yours a V8 or V10?

I've done the V8 and then the V10,

and then I done the R8 GT as well.
So I'm well-rounded on the R8!

You've done a lot!

Actually, the GT was quite
an interesting idea for them,

because it was... How did they
change it? I've forgotten.

They basically made it a whole lot lighter,

so everything was carbon fibre.

They got rid of the glass
in the windows and lowered it,

so it was just quicker.
Was it more powerful?

It was up to about, I think,

560 from about 520 from the standard V10.

Do you write albums thinking,
"Right, if I sell a lot of these,

"I can go and buy a..." Yeah, definitely!

You do? Yeah! This is the motivation?

I live my life that way!

The ultimate goal is the Bugatti Veyron,

but I've got to get busy with the old
songwriting before I can go there!

So, OK, you did a V8, a V10,
and then the GT,

and then you did...? What came after that?

After the GT came a Ferrari 458.

And that's still with me now.

That is fan... cos the 458 is...

Are you a big fan of that thing?

I am, yes. That was the first time
that I'd ever sat in a Ferrari.

And, again, I still get that moment

when I see the little prancing horse
and I go,

"No! Definitely not!"

So you pull into a petrol station,

do you get people who make
observations about your car

if you're in the Ferrari?
Yes. All the time.

Like, "I bet you can't get
much in the back of that!"

That's the usual one.

Or, "I bet that costs
a pretty penny to insure!"

And you just think,
"Why are you saying that?!"

Everywhere you go abroad,
people go, "What a lovely car!"

But in Britain, it's always,

"My Maestro does more miles to the gallon."

Yes, but it makes you look like a BLEEP!

Yes, I've had that a few times, actually.

You even got it when you went on
BBC Breakfast News.

I bet you can't remember that.

I can remember it,
because you wrote a column

and you were absolutely raging about it.

I couldn't believe it!

OK, so Amy went on and said,
"I've got a Ferrari 458."

The first question was,
"Well, how much did that cost?"

The next was, "Where can you drive
a car like that in Britain?"

You can drive it everywhere!

Everywhere you drive
your pathetic little Nissan!

I was PROPERLY cross!

I actually said, "I'm going to get
Amy on Top Gear one day"

"and apologise on behalf of the BBC
for its Communist tendencies."

Oh, thank you! LAUGHTER

I'll tell you one more car I want to
talk to you about, actually,

which I didn't know that you'd had.

It was a Nissan GTR. Yes.

Because I've never met anybody
who owned one of those.

Did you enjoy it? No.

Really?

Obviously, it's super fast,

but I did feel like I was driving
just a big, plastic box.

Because technically, you look at
all the on-paper stuff...

if you read the car magazines
and you think,

"My God, this is amazing!"

But there is something missing
from it, isn't there?

Yeah, definitely.
And it's very quiet as well.

When I've got something super fast,

I want everyone around me
to know how fast it is!

Did you ever use launch control
on Nissan? I didn't, no.

I think it's definitely
a boy racer's car, though.

What, and you're NOT a boy racer?!

I'm not a boy.

So, really, I mean, I know you said

that this was an ambition,
then, to come down here?

Oh, yeah, totally. Was it fun out there?

It was great fun, yes.
The Stig was brilliant.

I had a good laugh and
I hope I'm not too near the bottom!

Well, the practices
weren't completely perfect.

Oh, but they were exciting!

You know when you spin off

and you know you think the cameras
weren't filming you?

Yes, they were? Yeah, they were.

Who'd like to see some of Amy's practices?

AUDIENCE: Yeah!

Let's have a look.

Right, coming up to...

yes, the second to last corner.

Ooh, yep!

Good one!

Oh, that's the follow-through.

That's about 100 miles an hour and...

BLEEP!

And kept it going! APPLAUSE.

That's brilliant!

The only person, I think,

who's ever been off there

was Black Stig from years and years back.

Went off in a Vanquish.

It's about 100 miles an hour there.

Yeah, I was caning it, and then
right over all of them lights.

Yeah, the landing lights did suffer
quite badly, actually.

But how did you manage to run wide?
Was it really greasy?

Oh, I just think I wasn't paying
attention at that point,

and I suddenly went right off.
But I went off with style.

And you did some damage.

And I love the way you keep your foot down

and keep coming back. Yeah!

So who would like to see the lap?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

Let's play the tape. Here we go.

BRAKES SCREECH

Perfect wheel spin.

Oh, burning rubber!

You do look a bit scared.

And a couple of braking points there.

And into the first corner.

Just the right amount of
tyre squeal, and a perfect line.

Follow the road.

Yes, good plan!

Follow it. Get a bit in...

Bang on! Yep, that's looking good.

I'm coming for you, Damien Lewis.

I think I might beat you!

Do you know, I think you might!

He was dealing with quite a lot more
snow and ice than you've got there.

Oh, that is nicely judged through there!

My mum's going to have
a heart attack watching this!

Does she get worried? Yeah.

She does? But there's nothing to hit,

except for a few landing lights

and you can't even hit those any
more, because they've gone.

That was very fast through there,
and kept it on the island nicely.

That was, yeah, not even cut there.
No cheating.

And here we are coming up to Gambon.

Again, that is absolutely spot-on,
and across the line.

APPLAUSE

So, Amy Macdonald...

whereabouts do you think you came?

Erm, I'm hoping it's not
too far near the bottom.

Somewhere in the middle, I'd be happy with.

Somewhere in the middle.
What, the sort of 147 times?

Yeah. I'd be happy with that. Well, well!

You did...

1...

OK, that's good. Not last!

40...

OK.

4...

Wow! Point four.

No bad! So I think that is
astonishingly good.

APPLAUSE

Not bad at all!

Just...

two-tenths behind Tom Cruise!

See, Stig was pushing me on and pushing me.

So he must have known that
I was right near Tom Cruise.

That is an astonishing time.

And to celebrate, we've got
a gift for you to go home with.

Oh! Yes, this hasn't happened since
Harry Enfield came here, actually.

But we'd like to present you with
the landing lights you broke.

Aw!

APPLAUSE
Ladies and gentlemen, Amy MacDonald!

CHEERING

There it is!

Now, tonight we are having a race.

It's between Jeremy Clarkson
in this Mustang

and Richard Hammond and I on trains.

Yes, and we left the action

with Jeremy here, and us two here,

100 miles ahead
and going 100 miles an hour faster.

Yes, now, you don't have to be
a professor of advanced mathematics

to realise that, for once,

Jeremy Clarkson is going to lose.

I suppose it would be cruel, wouldn't it,

to pray for some kind of derailment?

A minor one.

Or a strike.

The French love a strike.

We are now approaching Fontainebleau
at 183 miles an hour.

There's the proof.

I suspect, even with his mighty Mustang,

Jeremy isn't doing that.

'With victory for the train
looking almost certain,

'we now had to tackle a thorny issue.

'There were two of us on it, and
we only had one ticket to the match.'

I like big matches. Do you?

I like going to see a big match.

It's the best thing in the world
to watch. It's fantastic.

So you'd quite like to win this? Yeah.

I'll be honest, I can take it or leave it.

I'd rather leave it.

But in this one instance,

I want to win more than anything else

because I want to deny you and Jeremy
the chance of watching it.

No offense. That's my thinking.

'Because I wasn't really
in the race at all,

'I was getting distracted.'

This is good. There's
a control on the steering wheel

that allows me to choose

what dial I have
in the middle of the dashboard.

So, I can have volts,

or inlet temperature,

air fuel ratio.

I've got 14 of those.

The problem we have here is that
you and I are competing,

but obviously, what we are engaged
in here is a very lengthy truce.

Yeah, because there's nothing
we can do now.

We are tied together until we get
there and we get off the train.

But the last bit is on foot. Yeah.

Now, I'm quite happy to
run on television. Are you, James?

Well, this is what's bothering me.

The best I can do is come second...

Yes... with my inability
and refusal to run.

Well, you've lost.

I've currently got 11...what is it?

InHgs! 11 inHgs.

No, wait, 20 inHgs.

What's the point of all this?

They may as well tell me
the weather forecast for Adelaide!

'Then there was the radio,

'which could only receive

'frequencies ending in an odd number.'

FRENCH POP MUSIC PLAYS

Happily, though,

the office have provided me
with a talking book

to keep me amused on the long journey.

AUDIO BOOK: "He brings his hand up
to grasp my chin"

"and holds me in place."

"He wants me, and I want him."

"He sits down on the edge of the bed."

"'Did you undress me?' I whisper."

"'Yes.'."

Who preceded Alex Ferguson
and manager of Manchester United?

Kenny Dalglish.

Was it? Ron Atkinson?
He's a local builder, isn't he?

Didn't he play Mr Bean?

"Perhaps I imagined it all. No."

"I touched my lips, swollen from his kiss."

"It definitely happened."

In 1969, the year I was born,

which legend scored what was claimed
as his thousandth goal?

George Best.

Peel. Pele?

The miles rolled by

in a relentless blizzard
of fuel stops and sadomasochism.

"Before I know it, he's got
both of my hands on one of his,"

"in a vicelike grip above my head."

'By mid-afternoon, I'd worked out

'why this immensely powerful car
is so cheap.'

Well, it's not what you'd call
lavishly equipped.

The seats, for example, adjust manually.

Then you've got the plastics,
which are HYSTERICALLY terrible.

'And it simply isn't as refined
or as well-engineered

'as anything made in Europe or Japan.'

But it is a likeable car.

It's a good-looking car.

The power is always intoxicating.

You'd never, ever, ever
get bored with that.

'And you do get a lot
of something else as well.

'Heritage.

'This car owes its existence

'to a Texas chicken farmer
called Carroll Shelby.

'He was born in 1923
with a heart condition,

'which meant he lived much of his life

'on a daily dose of nitroglycerine pills.

'That's probably why, one day, he
decided to become a racing driver.

'After not quite making the grade,

'he heard that in little old England,

'a small company called AC

'was struggling to find an engine
for its sports car, the Ace.

'He brokered a deal with Ford
to supply big V8s.

'And what became known as
the AC Cobra was born.

'The Sunday Times reported

'that a coupe version had
achieved 190mph on the M1.

'And the following week,
the Daily Mail said

'this had sparked fury

'with motoring organisations.

'And thanks to the Mail's campaign,

'the 70mph limit was introduced.

'In America, though,

'the Cobra cemented a partnership
between Shelby and Ford.

'A partnership that spawned many great cars

'and lasted right up
until May of last year,

'when at the age of 89, he died.

'Just before he passed away,
though, he got to see this.

'Apparently, he liked it.

'And I like the fact that
it bears his name on the back.'

I was going to say at this point,

"Well, Mr Shelby, wherever you are,"

"my victory today, it's for you."

But I am so far behind,

I just can't bring myself to say it.

However, while I was delivering
my small history lesson,

Ivor the Engine had stopped.

The problem is, as we start to
go into the mountains,

as we make our way towards Italy,

we get onto the old bit of the network.

It has to wind around a bit to go
through cuttings,

and that slows it down.

So we're in a very fast train
on goat paths?

And that's him, and
he's actually moving forward

in big leaps and bounds.

This thing updates itself every
two and a half, three minutes,

so we see Jeremy's progress
as a series of jumps,

and they're bigger than our jumps.

And it's costing us our lead.

It is costing our lead.

Sit rep, I've eaten my last pork pie,

and I've eaten all my sausage rolls.

PHONE RINGS
Richard Hammond is making contact!

Hammond! 'I'm only wanting to ring'

with good news for you. Which is
to say, we appear to be stuck,

'because we have mountains in our way, '

and I haven't seen more than
80mph and we're getting slower.

You're only going 80?

Yes. The gap is closing right now.

'And we haven't been over about 65,'

70, for the last stretch
and we're slowing again.

'Our ETA is still ahead of yours.'

You've still got time to make up,
but you're closing on us,

and that's an unpleasant feeling.

Interesting! Right, well,
thank you for that update.

Better still, because of the Alps,

the train had to take a longer,

southerly route, to reach Milan,

whereas the road was more direct.

I was back in the race.

We are going to scythe
through these mountains, you and me.

Let's do this for Carroll Shelby! Come on!

68. Why isn't it registering 168?

Why is it only saying 68?
Because we're not going that fast.

Why aren't we going that fast?

200 miles, three hours.

Air con, low. Speed, high.

Keep me awake!

Another problem for us
was that in the mountains,

we seemed to be stopping
at every single village.

We'd been stationary
at this one for five minutes.

Excusez-moi.

Cette cinq minutes... c'est
cinq minutes en addition

de la grande totale pour la trip...

or, or, included dans le train.

Ah, je crois qu'on va bientot partir, eh?

Yeah, I don't understand.
Pas tres longtemps.

Yeah, I don't understand the answer.

It's OK. It's OK. Let's just be calm.

There's going to be a pause now
while we wait,

and then we'll rocket away.

He is catching up.
I mean, look at him. Cracking along.

Chamonix Mont Blanc. That'll do me.

I love the signposts you get round here.

It's like I'm driving through
a Robert Ludlum novel.

I'm going to see Jason Bourne
going the other way,

punching people in the face.

And he'll give me a thumbs up
going, "Yeah, go, Mustang!"

45. We're going slower than him.

I'm getting depressed looking at it.

As we trundled through the Alps,
we got a call from Carroll Clarkson.

'Hammond!'

Hello, how are you doing?

'Let me put it to you this way, '

what are you drinking?

Oh, why?!

Because I'm doing really well.
Mont Blanc is straight ahead of me.

You're looking at Mont Blanc?
I'm looking at it. I'm under it.

He's looking at Mont Blanc?

Oh, God! He's going great guns.

It's a bit neck and neck.

Yeah, it is.

'But then, my charge
was brought to an abrupt halt.'

Oh, God! Contraflow!

That's not funny!

I suppose they're just doing
all the repairs

before the skiing season starts.
Bloody skiers!

Come on, French worker Johnnies!

What numbers are we going to have here?

Hang on, I'll tell you his speed.

I'm going to make a guess
at 74 miles an hour.

70 miles an hour.

I wasn't far off.

Oh, no, no, no!

Not again! Please, no more contraflow!

For about 10 glorious minutes,

I thought I was in with a shout of
winning this, but these roadworks...

it is just constant.

'In the Mont Blanc tunnel, I had
seven miles at 40 miles an hour.'

If the Italians aren't doing roadworks

to the same extent as the French,

I am still in with a shout here.

TRAIN WHISTLES
'Meanwhile, far to the south...'

How fast are we going?

Well, we've been touching 100,
and we're accelerating again.

He's not going very fast.

But then, I emerged from the tunnel
onto God's racetrack.

Italy.

Oh, you beauty!

The race was now entering
its final, dramatic chapter.

James and Richard would
get into Milan at 6pm.

Then they'd have to cross the city by tube

and cover the last mile on foot,

meaning they'd reach the finish line,

a bar near the stadium, at 7pm.

All the current calculations say
I'm going to arrive at 7.14,

which means I'm only 14 minutes
behind them.

Come on, Mustang!

You are going to beat the train.

Ha-ha!

We peaked at 120 miles an hour
in that last stretch.

That's a tremendous sort of speed.

We might actually just be in with a chance.

I'm 79 miles away.

I've been awake since
two o'clock this morning,

but I'm very, very awake now.

Very determined and awake.

PHONE RINGS 'May!'

Hello, Clarkson.
We're just pulling into Milan.

I wondered what time you thought you
were going to arrive. Just curious.

I reckon I can be there in an hour.

I think we're going to be there
in one hour and four minutes.

May the best man win. It will be you
or Hammond, obviously,

because I can't run. 'Yes.'

Got to go, sorry. 'Bye.'

Come on, Mustang!

You have been the hero of many,
many films in the past.

It's now time to be the hero
in another one.

'In Milan, the San Siro Stadium
was coming to life.

'And on the other side of the city...'

Is that the right bit? Or is that it?

Metro. M. It must be!

'We decided to stick together

'until we dealt with
all the tricky train stuff.'

It's M1. M1 is down there.

Oh, come on!

We missed that by about... Yes, seconds.

Where the hell are we? Garibaldi.

OK, three stops.

What's the name of the bar?

It's the, er...

So it's another train, yeah?
This is a change, isn't it?

It's not this one.

15 miles to go.

I can still do this.

How long are we on this one?

I don't know. I'm trying to work it out.

Come on!

There's Lotto. So it's one, two,
three, four, five stops.

Seven miles.

We've done 807. Seven to go.

You're not going to run? No, I'm not.

But you are? Yes, I am.

Like a stabbed rat.

Oh, this is bad traffic!

I am treading on my own tail.
That's what's happening here.

I'm caught up in match day traffic.

Is this us? No, but we're
going the right way. Two more.

That's all the Belgians coming down
to watch their team get annihilated.

I'll be on your side, Belgians!

If you cheer for me now.

Come on, come on, come on!

Right, exit!

'Hammond and I had reached our final stop,

'which meant we were no longer a team.'

Running commences!

Move it! Yes, yes, yes, yes!

'Outside the station,
Hammond scampered off,

'imagining that victory was in the bag,

'But that's because he hadn't seen
what was in mine.'

San Siro!

WOMAN SPEAKS IN ITALIAN
OK, that's a good sign.

That'll do for me.

Audi man, move! Move!

We're through!

Where's the bar? Where's the bar?

CAR HORN BEEPS

Dov'e' il bar?

WOMAN ANSWERS IN ITALIAN
Stairs? Yeah, yeah.

Oh, cock!

Loser! HE LAUGHS.

Well done. You look a bit tired, mate!

He's not here, though, is he?

No. So, although you are a loser,

you're not THE loser.

There's a word for what I am. Yeah, smug.

'Moments later, our deluded
colleague arrived.'

Right, where's the ticket?

Jeremy?

Ooh, he's trying this on.
He doesn't like how it fits, does he?

No, no, no! RICHARD LAUGHS.

Well done, chaps.

Be magnanimous! I just was!

I haven't thrown a suitcase at you,
I haven't said, "Oh, cock!"

Well done. We heard you.

Well, that's it, isn't it?
My first ever loss.

800 miles in a Stang.
You've done all right.

It's not a Stang. It's a Mustang.
It's a Stang.

Who won, by the way? I did.

Yeah, he did. By running.

So you're going to watch
a football match? Yes.

All by yourself? Yes.

Do you fancy some nice dinner?
He doesn't even like football.

Where are you? 1A.

Which is at the front, isn't it?
You're actually playing in goal.

I think you ARE actually in the team.

That is the goalkeeper's position. Is it?

Yeah. Is it complicated? Do I need gloves?

APPLAUSE

No, look. No, no.

I won't blame the tools.

But I will blame the French.

Why? Because it was the French's fault.

Those roadworks, the contraflow,
went on for nearly 100km,

and that is what cost me
the race. Yes, yes.

Well, enough about your embarrassing
and very public failure.

The thing is, what about the car? The car.

Looks great, tons of character,
goes like a train...

No, it doesn't. No, it didn't.
Doesn't go like a train, no.

It goes like a British train.
But there is a problem.

Is there? No, no, really, there is.

Because the biggest advance
with cars in the last 40 years

is not in speed or economy or safety.

It's actually refinement.

You could drive
an old Ford Escort at 70mph,

but if you did, it shaked and
rattled and it wore you out, yes?

Now, a modern-day Ford Focus,
you can drive that that at 70mph

and it's like sitting in the bath.

THIS is like an old Escort.

The noise and vibration
and harshness, it is exhausting!

You're absolutely right. And that is
why American cars are so cheap.

This, the Viper you were driving last week,

the truth is, they simply
aren't as thoroughly engineered

as cars from the civilized world.
They're not. They're not.

And as a result of that,
I arrived at the end of the trip

and I was just a big, soggy bag of skin.

Yeah, yeah.

The thing is, though,
let's not forget... you lost!

I did.

I did lose. I did lose.
And as a result of that,

we must finish
on a rather alarming conclusion.

Because of the French,

the car as a concept is finished.

And on that bombshell, it's time to end.

Thank you so much for watching. Good night.

APPLAUSE

Corrections & sync: Wally73

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