Top Gear (2002–…): Season 19, Episode 5 - Episode #19.5 - full transcript

Contains language some may find offensive. Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond tackle the twin problems of an ageing population and the increasing complexity of modern cars. Their solution is to design a vehicle exclusively for the elderly. Meanwhile, James May shifts to Nevada for the ultimate challenge against an autonomous military machine. Plus actor James McAvoy is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car.

Tonight, I hold up a jar.

James points at a hill.

Richard eats a sandwich.

Hello! Hello and welcome! Thank you
so much, everybody! Thank you.

We start tonight with
a big and important issue.

You see, back in 1975,

just 15% of people aged over 70
had a driving license.

Today, it's more than 60%,
and that means

the roads are full of people whose
eyes are broken and whose feet hurt.

And car-makers are just not
recognising this fact.

Most modern cars are made
for techno-savvy teenagers.

Yeah, my mother, she just says
all she wants from a car

is Classic FM and a heater

and everything else is
a waste of money and annoying

and possibly even dangerous.

Which is why Jeremy and I decided it
was time we went out and bought

a car to modify specially for today's
enormous army of pensioner drivers.

This meant heading to
the Top Gear Technology Centre -

the birthplace of all our
great projects.

And, while Richard went off to buy
a car which we could modify,

I examined the scale of the problem.

This Volvo has very few buttons,
and that's a good thing, but each

one seems to do 28 different things
depending on how you push it.

What does My Car mean? BLIS?

Collision Warning? Why would you
want to turn that off?!

And look at these -
if you're 85,

these are just
out-of-focus hieroglyphics!

Things were just as bad
in this Ford Focus.

What does Block 5A mean?

There's literally nothing,

nothing on here which is
old-people friendly.

"Press source for USB BT line in."

I'm sure all this
makes perfect sense

to the foetus that designed it,

but to anyone over 65 it is
just incomprehensible gibberish.

'Before I had a chance to get to
grips with the Citroen...'

Oh, for BLEEP sake! '..Richard was
back with the car he'd bought -

'a Fiat Multipla, famous for having
three seats in the front

'and three in the back.

'To decide what to do with it,
we set up a mood room.'

All top designers use
rooms like this to put them into

the actual mind of the customers
they're trying to attract.

So, for example, we have an early
vacuum cleaner, a one-bar heater,

a TV listings magazine,
many of which are available,

with the programmes
we want to watch highlighted.

It really is just like being
in James May's front room.

Well, where do you think
we got everything from?

What I'm seeing with
every single thing in here

is simplicity and comfort.

Comfort on the chair, simplicity
of the mop, the kettle, the TV.

Everything is simple.

It's simple... straightforward
and yet,

in the case of this small sofa,
also strangely itchy.

After several intense hours
in the mood room, we at least knew

what colour our car should be,
so we went off to get some paint.

Excuse me, you know this machine,
can you match the colours of things?

Yeah, we can try.

Can you match the colour of this
hearing aid, this bit,

specifically that bit.
That is a symphony in beige.

That's the colour we want.
Can it really do that?

So analyse the colour of the hearing
aid. Can it do my left nipple?

With the paint sorted,

we went back to the Top Gear
Technology Centre to begin work.

Look at this dash. Speedo - out
of focus. Radio - too complicated.

It's all going to be changed,
all of it.

I've been thinking about safety and
not just for the car's occupants.

So, with that in mind, old people
find it very difficult to look around

when they're reversing -
it's just a fact -

so I'm planning a system
for the rear, to help them

stop reversing into garage walls
and lampposts, their wives.

I'm also planning
much, much bigger door mirrors.

Then, at the front, a radical
redesign of the front bumper

to avoid and minimise expensive
bodywork damage.

I'm thinking.

After several hours,

Jeremy's dashboard was
beginning to take shape.

Um, airbags. Yeah.

Dangerous, because you're not allowed
to put children in the front seat

with them there
because they're too delicate. Yeah.

Old people, they tend to sit
quite far forwards even

when they're not driving. And they're
just as delicate as children.

There you go - danger. So I think
we get rid of them. Can I have them?

Yeah, I don't need them.
I've got a plan.

I'll have your airbags
out in literally...

Are you sure this is...?
I'm not sure this is... Yes!

But the airbag had to be defused
by cutting one of the two wires.

Which one do I cut?
One presumably sets the bomb off.

Well, not bomb,
but explosives. Yeah.

How much explosive is in an airbag?
Quite a lot. Is there?

Is it really a lot?
It is, genuinely it's a lot.

You can get burns from it.
It's a lot.

So let's get inside the mind of the
man who made it. He's Italian. Yeah.

So if I think it's blue,
it's probably brown.

Wait! Yeah, no, you see, brown - that
might be what they want you to think.

Wait! Wait. What colours are in
the Italian flag?

None of those.

Ah, you see! It was easy!
I wasn't worried.

We could just edit all that
stuff out. Yeah.

While Hammond continued
with his safety features, I started

making a new dashboard and soon
had something to show my colleague.

You know elderly people like to
drive quite slowly?

Yeah, like James. Exactly.

So this is what I've done to get
round the problem.

Brilliant - so it only reads 20 even
if they're doing 80 miles an hour.

115! "I'm only doing 17 miles
an hour," so they're happy.

The people stuck behind, whose
wives are in labour

and they have meetings to get to,
they're happy. Everybody wins.

'I was also rather proud of my
old-people-friendly rear fog light.'

This'll be mounted in the car -
this is the switch.

So as soon as it starts a little
bit of light drizzle,

the elderly person
turns on the rear fog light

and then what happens
round the back is...

absolutely nothing at all.

With the new dash sorted, I started
to think about the rear seats and I

went online to search for an advert
I remembered from the early '80s.

And that's it, that's it! Hammond!
Hammond! Come and look at this!

Watch this commercial. Ready?

It's grand to find
a comfortable chair

when you're getting on a bit
or you've got arthritis.

My niece got this from Shackletons,
you know.

You know! You know! You know!

Shackletons' original high seat.

Never thought it would be
so easy to get in and out of.

Shackletons' high seat chair.
It's lovely.

Hang on, so you're saying
replace that with one of those?

But they're so easy to get in
and out of, YOU KNOW!

And it is lovely to find a nice,
high seat.

Things were better in the old days.
They were. Fact.

Oh! Oh-ho, oh-ho!


Come on, that is brilliant!

'Our car was coming along nicely.

'We removed the Fiat badges,
which were a bit foreign,

'and replaced them
with something more appropriate.

'Hammond softened the suspension
and I installed a pet cage.'

A cat bolted to the roof?

I'm not bolting the cat,
I'm bolting the cat cage to the roof

and then it'll be up here
and I won't get asthma.

'As I was busy with
my cat carrying system,

'Hammond decided to make some
covers for the front seats.'

Weirdly, I've used this
as my inspiration. It's a BAC Mono.

Because it's a track car,
it's got no roof or doors or windows,

so they line the interior with
this special material.

I've got some here.

In beige, obviously.

Now, it's quite plush,
it feels like suede or even velvet,

but when it gets wet,
here's the strange thing -

the water just runs off.

Look at that! You'd think it would
be ruined, but it just flies away.

I'm going to use it to make what
I shall call inconti seat covers.

By the evening, our car was almost
finished, but we felt a bit strange.

What's extraordinary about today
is that, without James here, there

have been no arguments, nobody's
caught fire, nobody's fallen over.

We've been like a well-oiled machine

and I think we've created something
really rather brilliant.

And with that, back to the studio.

The thing is, I've just got
a question, actually.

What do you do...?

While we're on the subject of old
people, what do you do when you know

that your mother or father is really
too old to be driving any more.

Good question. You can't really say,
"Hand over your license."

I think that's why
our car makes so much sense.

Yeah, and we shall see how it
does in a road test later on.

What happened to your eye?
Nothing, nothing at all.

No, because you weren't there
with your slap-happy attitude,

no part of the needle of
the sewing machine went in it.

Not even a tiny... No, not even
a tiny bit. No. No. So, the news.

You know there's a new Volkswagen
Golf? Yes. Very nice, actually.

But in four months
there'll be a GTI version of it.

Now, that will have
217 horsepower...

Or no, actually,
it's German - cowpower.

217 cowpower engine
and it's going to be about £25,000.

Thing is, though, there's going to
be a rival for this.

You know the car we looked at
last week, the Kia Cee'd, well,

look at this. This is the...
They're calling it the Pro Cee'd GT.

I think that looks rather good.
It does.

And it's two grand less than
the Volkswagen.

Nearly three grand less.

And the thing I like about that is
they haven't gone absolutely

mad with it. It's a 1.6 litre turbo,
200 horsepower, which is...

Well, no, it's not horsepower.
It's Korean. It's dogpower, yeah.

Exactly, yeah.

I tell you what, though, if you
don't want to spend that much,

the reason we bring these
hot hatchbacks up

is, Volkswagen has announced,
you know the Up, which we love?

It's a great little car.
Really brilliant little car.

They've announced they're doing
a GT version of it here, OK?

Now, this is going to
have 110 horsepower,

so exactly the same
as the original Golf GTI.

It's smaller than an original Golf
GTI, it weighs less than a tonne.

I reckon that will be epic
and it's £13,000!

No, I think that could be brilliant.

So if you have ordered
a new car for later this year,

S Class, Lamborghini,
whatever it is, cancel your order.

You want one of those.
You do. That is going to...

I can't wait to drive that.

There is another version of the Mini,
yet another. Not another!

Another one.
We needed one in 20 minutes.

It's out, this month it's on sale.
It's called the Paceman, here it is.

Oh, look at it!
It's so miserable! It's little face!

I saw one coming the other way,
coming into work the other day,

and it just looked
so catastrophically sad.

"Morning, it's all awful!

"I hate being a Mini!

"I have to sleep outside and
a dog weed on my wheel last night.

"All the big cars steal
my pencil money." Look at it!

Hammond, do that face again.
You do look incredibly like it!

You do look like the...

It's so depressing!
Why have they done that?

I tell you what, though,
for radiator grilles,

have you seen the new Lexus IS?

Oh! That's like it's got
a vacuum cleaner on the front!

You'd have to lift your feet
as it goes past!

How hard can it be to do
a radiator grille?

Hey, bad news.

You know when the Tories
came to power they said

they were going to up the motorway
speed limit to 80? Yeah.

Well, the new Transport Secretary
who's called something dreary -

Patrick McLoughlin -
has had a rethink. Oh, God.

No, he says that he's unlikely to
up it to

80 because in his
constituency there's a very bad
road where a lot of people get hurt.

Yeah, this is quite interesting,
isn't it?

His constituency is
the Derbyshire Dales

and we had a look at a map
and there are no motorways there.

What this means,
ladies and gentlemen,

is our Transport Secretary
in Great Britain

doesn't know what a motorway is.

The man is a blithering idiot.

No, but in all seriousness,
you can't really have a Minister

for Transport who isn't interested
in, for example, cars and roads.

It's be like making you
the Governor of the Bank Of England.

Don't do that. No, cos he's not
interested in the economy.

No, but I could sort it out. How?

Well, I could sort out
the budget deficit.

Well, I'd find out how much it was

and then I'd write a cheque for that
amount from the Bank Of England.

He probably has a point!
That could do it.

Well, maybe he should...
That's economics covered.

I'd also have minted a £9.99 note
to make life easier for shopkeepers.

Can I just say, actually,
changing the motorway speed limit

to 80 miles an hour

wouldn't actually make a blind
bit of difference, would it?

Because everybody in the outside
lane of the motorway is doing 95.

They are. No, they are. People go,
"Everyone does 80 on the motorway,"

and they don't,
they're doing 95 in the outside.

So all an 80-mph speed limit would do

is reduce the income
from speeding fines,

cos you're only going to be doing
15 miles an hour over the limit

rather than 25. The fact is

that on a weekday afternoon -
I'm not talking about weekends

when the roads are clogged up
with people in Peugeots

going to B&Q
to buy more hideous decking.

I'm talking about
a weekday afternoon,

Britain has the best
standard of driving

you'll find anywhere in the world.

You're right. I would agree
with that. It's a big claim.

Is it? Right, let's run through
the opposition, shall we?

The Germans all do
150 on the autobahn

that far behind the car in front.
They do. The Italians are mad.

The French can't get to the grocers
without crashing into a field.

The Americans are belligerent,
the Australians are drunk,

the rest of the world
hasn't got the hang of it yet.

No, I'll... Yeah.

Hang on. No. What?

What about...

What about the Scandinavians?
Cos they're pretty handy.

No, they're not half as good
as they think they are. Really?

They always say, "I can drive..."
I won't do the accent.

"I can drive..."

Overreached yourself there,
didn't you?

They always say, "I can drive
at 75 miles an hour on sheet ice,"

and that's true, they can, but they
don't tell you the other thing -

they crash all the time!

There isn't a florist window
anywhere in Scandinavia

that hasn't got a crashed van
halfway through it.

They just spin off constantly.

They do. OK, so scrub
the Scandinavians. We are the best.

We are just the best,
and that's an end of it.

I think we should have a campaign,
a global one,

posters by the motorway
with a Lord Kitchener-type figure on

that says, "Think -
what would the British do?"

Oh, Alfa Romeo, they have
a proud history, don't they,

of really excellent names,
evocative, emotive, names -

Giulia, Spider,

Giulietta, Stradale, all great names.

Well, they've released photographs
of a new Alfa. Here it is.

Mmm. Lovely. Lovely.

Except, it's called the Gloria.

The what? Gloria? That is Gloria.

You're looking at Gloria. Gloria's
not the name of an Italian car.

Gloria is the name
of a receptionist.

Yeah. Gloria has her glasses
on a chain around her neck.

Gloria wears... What's it called
when tights are really thick?

Is that 50 denier or 100?

That would be 100. 100? Right.

Gloria wears 100-denier tights
and they rasp when she walks.

We went off topic quite badly.
We have gone very off topic.

Anyway, listen,
ladies and gentlemen,

this morning,
Richard Hammond was late for work.

Oh, I'm sorry! I know!
I arrived at 8:07.

You got there at 8:10.
You arrived at 10:47.

Yes. I'm sorry.
10 to 11 when you arrived.

I'm sorry I was late for school!
And this was good news

because, while we were waiting
for you to rock up, James and I

talked about the enormous success
we had last week playing car rugby.

Exactly. And I think it was a great
success, and we were thinking,

"Are there any other sports
you can play in a car?" Were you?

Now, you were so late, we decided to
go out onto the track to see

if you can play tennis in a car.

You can't. You can't?

No. Really?

Well, we had a couple
of cameramen out there,

so let's just find out, shall we?

Here we go.
This is how we filled our morning.


Here we go, this is a good one.


That's a great shot! Yes!

What? It works!

I know, it does.
You can play tennis in cars,

with a bit of editing!

Little bit of editing.
It did work really well, though.

And it was really good fun.
Well, I'm sorry I missed it.

Now, moving on, sometimes it seems

like the motor industry is
a little bit like the film business.

Occasionally you get low-budget
indies like the Ariel Atom.

Sometimes you get a quirky, offbeat
foreign-language production.

That'd be a Saab.

And then occasionally, you get
a big, huge-budget blockbuster,

such as this.

Welcome, everyone,
to the new Range Rover.

And when I say new,

I really mean new.

This body shell, for example, still
looks pretty much like a Range Rover

but it's been totally
redesigned from scratch

and made from aluminium,

and that saves a whopping
400 kilograms of weight.

And that's just the start of it.

It has a new active suspension
system, so it no longer rolls around

like a torpedoed frigate
when you go round the bends.

It has new electric power steering,

it has a new,
very clever eight-speed gearbox.

Inside, half of the switches
and buttons have been ditched

to create this
more minimalist dashboard.

There are also four inches
of extra legroom in the back,

and you no longer have to burn
any calories opening the tailgate.

On the road,
it feels more luxurious than ever.

The ride is really very good,

quite Rolls-Royce-like.

However, all these improvements
come at a price,

because even the cheapest version,
a V6 diesel, costs £71,000

and the supercharged V8 model
is almost £100,000.

That's Mercedes S-class money.

But then, the Range Rover has
long been a Mercedes S-class rival

and this new one is equally at home

on the expensive bits
of the Monopoly board.

Thing is, though, previous Range
Rovers have always been about

a bit more than just
poncing around a nice big city.

They've always been
formidable adventure cars,

great off-roaders,
pioneers, in a way.

So what I think we'll do now is,
we'll drive out of London...

and into this place.

The Nevada Automotive Test Centre

in Nevada.

This vast 1,200-square-mile
proving ground

is where the original Hummer
was developed,

making it the perfect place

to find out whether Lord Snooty
can still get his shoes dirty.

To spice things up a bit,

we're going to give
the Range Rover some competition.

So now, obviously,
you're expecting me

to introduce a redneck in
a massively modified jeep.

But no. We can do better than that.

And we have. And here he comes now.

Though when I say "he",
what I really mean is "it".

Bloody Nora.

Meet the TerraMax.

It has six-wheel drive,
tyres the size of Ferris wheels,

the ability to drive almost anywhere

and, as you've just seen,

nobody in the driver's seat.

It's an autonomous vehicle.

This thing can go on patrol,
deliver supplies,

and all without any risk of
soldiers being blown up by IEDs.

Here's basically how it works.

Up on the roof,
there's a thing called LIDAR,

which is 64 separate lasers spinning
round and round very quickly

and reading the terrain.

The information that comes back is
interpreted by the computer on board

that decides where it should go

and then operates the steering,
the brakes, the engine and so on.

And what it sees is this.

Anything that comes up green
is basically no problem.

It's vegetation, that sort of thing.

Anything that comes up
in various shades of red

is more of an obstacle, so a big
rock, a tree, a wall, a cliff face,

all that sort of thing.

Look at that!

That's really quite amazing.

But the big question is,

can it beat a car built by Brummies

and driven by me?

What we're going to do
is have a race

from here to that hilltop
over there,

a distance of about ten miles.

Between us and the finish line
lay many off-road challenges,

including rocky ground,
steep slopes,

cloying mud and icy rivers.

And there would be
no pre-planned route.

The Range Rover and I would have
to adapt as we went along.


It's man versus machine,

quite literally.


Hang on!

I suppose it has a mind of its own,
doesn't it?

It's May versus Schwarzenegger!

In truth, the jump start
didn't really matter

because I was on standard road tyres

and this path was so craggy, he was
always going to be faster anyway.

Look at the size of the tyres
on that thing.

Ah, God, he's miles in front.

Right, if you're thinking of
placing a bet on this at home,

here are the odds.
Team Terminator, with the TerraMax,

they can go over terrain
that I can't manage,

and the boffins who built it

have programmed satellite maps
of the whole area into its brain.

So it already has a pretty good idea
of where to go.

And if they want, they can
take control of it remotely,

like a drone.

Team Top Gear, with the Range Rover,

you have me, possibly the greatest
off-road vehicle in the world,

and higher speed.

I also have Land Rover's
Terrain Response system,

which allows you to select
different settings for the car

depending on the type
of surface you're on.

But there is a new feature -

you can now push the knob down

and it goes into automatic mode,

and then the car will work out
for itself, believe it or not,

what sort of terrain you're on,

what ride height you need,
all the rest of it.

Right now, though,
it was speed I needed,

and with these tyres on this terrain
I wasn't getting any.

God above!

That looks like a short cut.

That is a short cut. I'll miss this.

The short cut was
a steep, slippery slope.

Right, hill descent.

Here we go.


Whoa, that's steep.

I'm losing it! No, I'm not!


Oh, God, he's there.

And sure enough...

Yes! Take that, Robocop!

And things could only get better

because ahead of me
lay a fast, sandy track.


This is the 510-horsepower
supercharged Range Rover.

You'd be mad to buy this in Britain.
It's so thirsty!

Makes sense out here, though,
and it makes sense doing this.

I've no idea where Robocop is.

But he ain't going as fast as this.

Sadly, Robocop didn't need to,

because the boffins back at base
switched to drone mode,

remotely deflated the tyres for
better grip in tricky conditions

and ordered it to take
a short cut of its own,

over even rougher ground.


Back on the sand track,

I was at least reaping the benefits

of the Range Rover's
400-kilogram diet.

Hang on, a quick downshift
to the sandy hairpin.

Look at that, it's beautiful!

But the TerraMax's shortcut
had put it ahead

and now the terrain was
even more in its favour.

That thing's not going fast, but it
is utterly relentless. It just goes.

Moments later,

I arrived at the ridge
the TerraMax had just climbed.

Holy moly!

What the hell, here we go.



Did you see that?

That is just... That is astounding!

Meanwhile, the TerraMax
was surging ahead.

And once it had crossed the river

it could hit its top speed
of 35 miles an hour,

which meant
I had to push even harder.

Whoa, that's deep.

Whoa, that's getting a bit dicey!



It really is astonishing,
this thing.

Let's hear you cheering, Birmingham.

Here we go. This will wade
up to 36 inches, this car.

That's more than
a Land Rover Defender,

more than the old car would.
The air intakes have been moved up

to the top of the bonnet, so
the water doesn't get in the engine.

If there's no holes in the river,

I'm across! Yes!

Back on smooth ground,
I could now close down the TerraMax.

Where is he?

No sign of the metal bastard.

Actually, the driverless swine

was starting its ascent
of the final hill.

There's Arnie! I'm on his six.

Now, I could follow that thing,
then just try and overtake

at the last minute
in a rush to the finish line,

but I don't think that will work,
to be honest,

cos it's just going to end up
somewhere where I can't go.

On the map,
Arnie's route was shorter

but also clearly steeper,

so I went for
a longer, shallower track.

Here we go.
And it's smooth and good.

That's where I'm going. I can see
a whiff of the orange smoke.

Heh-heh! This is excellent.

Lost sight of Arnie.

Absolutely no idea where it is.

Whilst Arnie ploughed
relentlessly upwards,

my gamble started to backfire.

This is getting tricky. Ah!
Calm down, man.

Jeez, it's getting worse.

I'm sorry, I really can't
do it much faster than this.

I'll just pull a tyre off or smack
something, then it will be over.

The summit was now
just half a mile away.

He could be just
the other side of that rise.

I just... I've got no way
of knowing.

There's the orange smoke.

Here we go, here we go.

Here's the chequered flag! And...

No TerraMax!

Yes! Ha-ha!

I thank you!

How about that? An intelligent
machine driven by a computer

has been beaten by the intelligent
machine driven by a human being,

which is exactly as
it should be, of course.

We... are still the most
important component in a car,

and if we weren't,
we'd all be doomed!


Why can't you walk
on slippery surfaces?

I don't like low traction. Yeah, but
why do you need traction? It's you.

You're not moving quickly or
changing direction suddenly, are you?

No, and the other thing is,

I think I could have done the
Range Rover test a bit more quickly.

Really? No, you could.
All you have to say is,

at the front there's too much bling,

at the back the boot is too small,

and everything in between
is utterly, utterly outstanding.

You could have added
that because it's so much lighter

than the previous model,
it's much more economical.

Yeah. There we are,
we've covered everything.

Could we get onto
that TerraMax, actually? Yes.

Cos that was built to take supplies
to the front line in a battlefield.

That's the idea, that
you don't endanger any soldiers.

You send the truck by itself.
And that makes sense

but you know Google,
and indeed, Oxford University

are currently working on a
driverless car that we can all buy,

and I'm sorry
but I can't see the point.

No, neither can I.

"My car has arrived at work.
I'm not in it, but..."

"I sent the car into town
to do the shopping!"

Pity it hasn't got any arms.
The school run, perhaps,

you could send the kids off
while you stay in bed

but other than that,
utterly pointless.

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

Now, my guest tonight likes bikes
and is incredibly tiny.

Oh, is it me?! Have you ever seen
Keira Knightley naked?

Yes. Really?

No. Well, he has, and he's kissed
Angelina Jolie. Oh, I've done that!

No, you haven't. In my mind.

Ladies and gentlemen, James McAvoy!

How are you? Good. Nice to see you.
Thank you very much.

Have a seat.

So Atonement, Last King Of Scotland,
X-Men, and now you crown it all.

The Bill. I was in The Bill. The
Bill, as well? I was in The Bill.

You don't crown that, but this is
Top Gear - second best to The Bill.


Now, the guests we've had recently -
Mick Fleetwood, Amy Macdonald -

really quite good car histories.
Yours is shocking. Is it? OK.

I think you're the first man we've
ever had sit in that seat

who once owned a Nissan Micra. Oh!

Listen, I was very proud of that car
and I have to say,

that car was not even one litre
and it went like the clappers!

It didn't. It did. Oh, no!

No, no, because you moved from that
to something not much better.

It was called a Renault Clio.

And it was a 1.2.

Five door, my friend!

And it had a fantastic
heating system. Did it?

It did, it warmed up very quickly,
much warmer than my new car,

which is an Audi Q3 now.

I actually said the other day,
it's the dreariest car in the world.

But anyway, let's gloss over that.
Right, go.

Because the problem you had is you
didn't pass your driving test

till really quite recently.
I passed it about four years ago.

I first took my driving test
for a TV show called State Of Play

and then failed.

So I just thought, "To hell with
it," and I started riding motorbikes

and then four years ago
I was having a baby

so I thought I'd better learn how to
drive and I finally passed my test.

I was just thinking,
there was a Channel 4 thing

called Shameless you were in. Mm.

You drove in that,
I'm sure you drove.

I played a car thief in that
and I have to say...

I have to say, that Channel 4
never once asked me

for a driver's license, so how
they got insurance, I don't know!

Now, you say you
were into bikes before cars,

so what was your first bike?

My first bike was not really a bike,
my first bike was a Vespa. Oh, God!

It was a scooter.

I drove one of those
all the way across Vietnam

and they are death traps. Right.
Did you fall off yours?

I did fall off mine.

Within...28 hours of owning one
for the first time,

I found myself illegally,
by accident, on the North Circular.

I was at... you know those big
roundabout junctions

you get on the North Circular,
with a guy in a Maserati behind me,

revving his engine and beeping me

because he was angry that
I was on the North Circular.

I thought, "I'm trying to get off -
give me a break."

So the lights go green
and I was under so much pressure

that I revved off too quickly

and, going round a corner,
you know you get all that dust

and gravel at the edge,
I went into it.

The thing span away from me
and went about 30 feet down the road

and that was my second day
as a biker, so... That was...

Cos I can remember once, being in a
Maserati on the North Circular...

No, I'll gloss over that.
A green Vespa, yeah?

Anyway, your new film, which I went
to see last night. Right. It's good.

Thanks very much, cheers. Good!
Yeah, we're very proud of it.

It's called Welcome To The Punch.

We have a clip,
which I'd like to show for you now.


Can we just take
a step back for a minute?

Max is an inch away from piecing
all this together.

Move! Go!

We'll end this tonight.

And when it's over,
you'll go to prison.

Why don't we let off some fireworks
while we're at it?

That is properly good.

I really did enjoy that,
but a couple of questions from that.

Number one -
that's an Alpha 159 you're driving.

Did you not think
when you were driving that,

"This is better
than my Audi Q3?"

I didn't have an Audi Q3
at the time,

I think I had a Citroen C3 Picasso.

This gets worse!

The other thing I noticed in that is
your beard, which you still have.

Now, this is because you're in...
Macbeth. I'm trans-gingered.

Were you surprised when you grew it
and it was orange? Er...

You know, your hair's not orange.
And I'm not orange down there.

You're not orange there? People
ask me do I dye my top, but I don't.

So do you know why it's orange?
Was it disappointing to be orange?

I don't know why it's red,
but I dig it, I like it.

I don't need a comment,
but I like it. I'm...

I'm fine with an orange beard.

Erm, now,
I believe it was Michael Fassbender,

a former guest here, who suggested
we should contact you to get you on

cos he said you'd love it.
I would love it, yeah. And did you?

I did love it. He's been
your driving partner, hasn't he?

He's been... We would operate...
I don't know what you'd call it,

but you know when you get the
motorbikes with the sidecar racing

and you get the guy on the side
doing the counterbalance?

We would do that for each other,
taking it in turns,

on a golf buggy...
erm, when we made X-Men.

Our golf buggy was,
thankfully, restricted,

but we got into our director's
golf buggy one day, unknowingly,

which had been de-restricted
and I think it went the grand total

of 17 miles an hour
or something like that.

Anyway, I was driving, Michael was
in the back doing counterbalance,

and I'm here, passenger seat here.

There's a seat here, passenger bit,

then another passenger bit there
and then a little footplate here.

He's on the footplate,
hanging on, going like that

when I'm going that way,
all this kind of thing.

He gave me such good

it just flipped, and when it
sort of landed again

it caught so much traction that we
just launched forward.

Anyway, we launched
into the back of a Lexus.

And, erm...

And I flew forward,
smacked my face off the windscreen

and the next thing I knew
I was about 15 feet

away from the actual golf buggy,
lying on the ground.

I looked up
and Michael had somehow managed,

with a roof and two passenger seats,
then the driver's seat there,

had managed to fly forward

and he was sitting in
the driver's seat, just looking...

And his shins
were like Niagara Falls of blood.

He was just cut to shribbons.

There's something about
a golf buggy which is...

They should never be used for golf,
totally wasted!

Anyway, listen,
if I'm honest with you,

when I heard that you were able to
come on, I was very excited.

I thought,
"He's only been driving 25 minutes,

"there's no way he's going
to be any good."

So are we ready to see
if he was or not?

Yeah! Let's play the lap!

Right, here we go.
Drumchapel, this is for you.

Clear your throat.
The mighty Kia Cee'd.

Did you get the corner right?

Looking good.

A lot of tortured tyres, but we're
through safely.

Dirty little Kia!

It's only cos you had a few offs
in practice that it's dirty.

It's a clean,
legs-together sort of car.

Why do I keep checking my BLEEP
rear-view mirror?

There's nobody there
anyway... except my dust!

You would be amazed how many people
do that - mirror, signal, manoeuvre.

It looks much slower than it felt.

Yeah, no, it's awful, that,
but the slower it looks, sometimes,

the faster you are.

Come on, come on, come on.

Argh, you end up speaking
like a movie, it's ridiculous.

"Come on, come on, come on."
Listen to me.

You've got to talk to them.

They look like machines, but they're
not really. Close to the tyres?

Oh, yes, that was close!
Lewis Hamilton close!

Wobbled the camera. Second-to-last
corner, two bites at the cherry.

Yes, but through and not off,

and that's good
and now we come back to Gambon...

A lot of understeer... Oh, my God!

Which way did you end up facing?
Straight, I went straight on.

The car was completely...
Yeah, but I got it back, though.

You got it back?! Yeah. You must
be a hell of a quick learner

cos for someone who's only
been driving for, well,

not very long, to be able to...
It didn't look too bad at all.

It was great fun. Thank you
so much for letting me have a go.

Oh, man, it was fantastic!
I don't need to know my time!

Right, so where
do you think that you came?

I think I should have got...

about 1.43 probably
and I kept messing up

one of the turns in particular,
so I think I've got about 1.45.

Well, I like your ambition!
Thanks very much.

It is ambitious!
So you're thinking 1.45 somewhere.

Well, you did it,
James McAvoy, in...




point six! You made your goal! Oh!

Look at that!

Oh! That's brilliant!
I cannot believe that!

Oh, my God, I actually
didn't do too badly!

He's actually breathing
a sigh of relief, cos I don't think

he would have wanted you to go
faster. Fassbender is...

That's a genuinely pleased man!

I'm really, really pleased because
I've had the premonition of me

going round the track

and I've always thought I'd flip
the car, I'd roll it badly

and, erm, so I really did believe

that I'd be down in
the bottom quarter.

Well, you're not. Yes!
Ladies and gentlemen, James McAvoy!

Now, the population of Britain
is getting older

and yet cars seem to be getting
more and more complicated

and fiddly, which is why,
earlier on, Jeremy

and I decided to make a car
specifically for old people.

And now it's time
to test it on the road.

The location for this maiden voyage
was Christchurch,

the south-coast town with
a larger percentage of elderly

residents than anywhere
else in Britain.

It's the perfect place, then,
to test our new car.

Now, listen, I've got
a couple of questions for you.

First of all, this.


Underneath the brake pedal,
I've fitted one of these...

so you know which
pedal you're hitting. Oh, I see!

So there's no chance of
unintended acceleration.

Yeah, that's a big problem solved.

Am I pushing the right pedal?

Yes, I am! There's an audible
reminder! That's brilliant!

Not only that, but the nature
of the noise... Yes, it's funny.

When it comes to cadence braking...

Oh, that is lovely!

Cos a cadence-braking situation
is a panic situation,

but that sprinkles
some comedy into it.

And then the next one I've got,
really, is this.

Well, I've been thorough here
and addressed all the senses, look.

Magnifying glass.
Let's have a look.


'Of course,
the main improvement we'd made

'was the new easy-to-use dashboard.'

Hammond, would you
like to set the sat nav, please?

Yep, we have a choice of
four destinations -

home, post office, Peggy's house or
bingo. Yes, we do. What do you fancy?

A bit of bingo? I fancy a bit
of bingo. A bit of bingo. It's in.

There you go.

You have selected bingo.

If you wouldn't mind turning left,
that would be smashing.

You see, now that's what
I call a sat-nav instruction!

It's so much better than
the German ones.


Who wants to be told by a German
where to go? I know!

Or a young German. Well, that!

Continue straight on. This area was
bombed during the war, you know.

Oh, you see! Those are the details
you want. War, rationing...

'Next we tested my new speedometer.'

Taking it up to five!


Nine miles an hour!

And into fourth.

Go straight on. Ten!

'But then... disaster.'

It's gone! What? The cat! No!

'The cat had not fared well.'
It's dead!

'Then a young policeman arrived.'
Where was the cat before?

There, but... Is it your cat?
It's dead.

And its name? Tiddles. Dead.

Tiddles? Ex-cat.

After giving the cat
a decent burial...

we reached the bingo hall...

You have arrived! Lovely!

And went off
to find a parking space.

Right, there's one, look,
next to that Focus.

Are you shuffling the wheel? Yes.

These are lovely crashers.

No damage whatsoever to any vehicle
in this car park.

Three and six, 36.

We expected bingo to be
very relaxing. Eight and one, 81.

But it wasn't. Two and one, 21.

I've never concentrated so hard
in my life. Two and eight, 28. Oh!

I'm literally wetting myself!
One and five, 15. It's coming out!

All the sixes, 66. Oh! Say 86!

Six and five, 65. Yes! Oh, boll...!

'Even though we'd lost 17 shillings,
we'd had a great time.'

Exciting! Was it ever?!

'But afterwards there was an issue.'

Now, Jeremy,
can I ask you a question?

Can you remember where we parked
our car? No, Richard, I can't.

This is a common problem,
and not just for the elderly,

which is why, you may have noticed,
on top of our car was a box.

In that box is a special feature
that I can activate

if I press this
button on the key fob.

There it is!

You see, this activates a flare

and we now know to
head in that direction.

Very quickly,
we found the correct car park,

but we still couldn't find the car.

You're the height of
most elderly people.

Can you see our car in this
car park? No. No, I can't.

And that's why,
if I press this button...

You see?

So it's brilliant - the flare
guides us to the rough position

and the balloon takes us
to the precise location of the car.

'Having wound in the balloon
locator system,

'we decided to find out how
our car would go down with some

'actual old people, so we set off to
an old people's home.'

Turn right at the newfangled
mini roundabout.

'And on the way, I showed Hammond
another of my special features.'

Now, the radio, Hammond -
just one station.

It's the music
from the Horse Of The Year Show

and old people love that cos you
can clap along to it. Very nice.

It doesn't tune in to any other
stations? No, that's it.

It plays it on a loop constantly.
Why do you want anything else?

What if you get in your car
after your children have been

driving it and they've left it
tuned to Radio One?!

Or worse still, Radio Two
and that talk-show man who does...

Jeremy Vine. There you go.

Those difficult topics -
they're unsuitable.

What, like pregnancy? Exactly!

'However, there was a problem.'

I can't stop clapping!
I can't stop clapping.

This is a massive design fault!
This isn't safe! Turn it off!

'Eventually, we arrived at
the old people's home...'

Well done, that was lovely.

'..And went to find
the testing team.'

So you're Miriam? I am, yes.
And you're Betty? Yes. I'm Barbara.

You're Barbara. And this is the car
that... What is she called?

This is The James. It's called
The James. James? The James.

A Rover James. Oh, it's a Rover,
yes? First impressions?

What do we think? It's wonderful!

This material is waterproof.

Oh, good! So if there's any little
accidents... Yes! ..don't you worry.

'However, there was an issue with
the Shackleton rear seating.'

Have you got a hoist?
That bit there...

See, in the advert for the chairs,

we were told they were very easy
to get into and out of.

Get me bottom round.
Shall we get a nurse to do this?

No, I'll do it if it kills me!
Well, we'd rather it didn't!

I was going to say... There's
a lot of paperwork. I'm so sorry.

Can I help? We're there!
We're there! Hooray!

Well done!
With both our dignity nearly intact!


'With the testing team on board,
we set off to the bowls club.'

Don't overdo it,
not with your back.

Look at the speed we're going now -
three miles an hour, as you can see.

Oh, isn't this absolute fun?

'Soon, we reached our destination.'

Here we are, ladies,
at the bowling club. Ooh, lovely!

'And Hammond insisted
I show off his new parking sensors.'

Keep going.

Keep going.

You know there's no bumper
on the back?

Just keep backing up.

Ignore the noise,
pretend you can't hear it.

What did he hit?

External rear-mounted airbag!
But... Genius!

Excuse me a minute.

Three quite elderly ladies in there
have now all had heart attacks.

There is that.
Ladies, I do apologise for that.

When have you ever experienced
banging like that? The war.

When the bombs dropped.

You're saying that because
these ladies lived through the war

they're capable of dealing
with a bang of that nature? Yes.

Leaving the ladies to play bowls, we
went off to buy food for a picnic.

What about Battenberg,
or is that too German?

It is too German, isn't it?

Sandwich spread!
Potted meat! Beef spread.

They must have ginger beer
in Christchurch.

Ginger beer's a bit racy,
don't you think? No! They'll love it.

Enid Blyton used to rub herself
with it. There it is.

Peruvian, Greek, Brazilian...
Holland. Dutch. Grown in the UK!

'With the shopping finished,

'it was time to demonstrate
yet another feature of The James.'

If you've got osteoporosis,
arthritis, lumbago... Or rheumatism.

Or rheumatism, then lifting your
heavy shopping into the boot

can be, well,
very difficult indeed.

But with this genius solution,
not a problem.

Bring the trolley up to the back -
that's easy. Lift, drop in, job done.

How brilliant is that?!

'Having picked the ladies up,
we set off for our picnic.'

Where did you get that mouse from?

It's a squeaky ball he's got
underneath the brake.

'Sadly, because it was
an English summer's day,

'it soon started to rain, which
revealed a bit of a design flaw.'

Oh! Whoa, whoa, whoa! Oh, no,
no, no! What's happened here?

Ugh, that's a lot of water
coming in now.

This is a disaster that we've had,

I think some of our modifications

have interfered with
the waterproofing.

Is it all on you, dear?
It's all a stream down there.

Look at this spirit of the Blitz
going on. I know.

This is what makes us great.
The Americans would be weeping now.

They'd be making a fuss. But what
good would that do? Nothing!

'And we had just the thing to
raise our spirits even more.'

You can't help it.
You can't, can you?

Oh, no - the constabulary.

Oh, not again!

Sorry, officers!
Nothing to see here!

'Eventually we arrived at exactly

'the sort of picnic spot
elderly people love.'

There we go.
Shall we pop it just here? Yeah.

Look at that for a sunset picnic.

'Having rescued what we could
from the ruined shopping trolley...'

Mr Kipling, bread...
This is all soaked!

'..We settled down to do
what all old people do

'when they're on a picnic together.'

'The next morning
we left Christchurch,

'generally quite pleased with how
things had gone.'

Oh, what?!
Leaking again!

There are a few things we need to
address - there's the waterproofing,

obviously, the Shackleton
easy chairs that aren't,

as it turns out, so easy to get
in and out of, you know.

The irresistible clapping machine.
Yeah. Er...

Hold on, if we carry on along here,
we'll have to get on the motorway.

Yes, I know, and that will give us

the opportunity to test a feature
that I fitted. What?

Well, you know you're always reading
in the newspapers about

an old person who's driven 30 miles
the wrong way down the M1? Yeah.

Well, I've fitted something that
will stop that happening. How?

Well, no, look, you see here
it's not clearly marked,

it's easy to go the wrong way down
that slip road.

I just did. Exactly!

Watch this - here we go.

Oh, I see! That's clever,
that's good.

But if I miss the signs,
I could just as easily miss all this.

Yeah, OK, keep going. Oh,
this is going to be...

Keep going!

There you go! You idiot!

What?! Well, it's ruined!

Yes, but it can't go on the motorway
going the wrong way.

No, we can't GO anywhere
because you've exploded the car!

We're alive,
everybody on that motorway is alive,

this is the best solution ever.

I've wet myself again!

Thank you, ladies! What?!

I knew you'd have something
to say about it. What?

I think you've overdone it.
What on this is overdone?

That heater -
that's too complicated.

I said that - you don't need a button
for hot and a button for cold,

you just need one that says,
"Just right."

No, no, let's not get bogged down
with details cos I think it's more

important we express our

for the man who provided us

with the voice for our satellite
navigation system because it was

the lovely Richard Briers, who sadly
died just last week, so thank you.

Honour to have met him.
It was. Honour to have met him.

Anyway, next week...
it is our Christmas special!

It's hardly Christmas, is it?
Not really.

It is if you're watching
this on Dave in 2016. Good point!

Anyway, it's us in three very cheap
estate cars, plunging around

in the heart of Africa looking
for the source of the River Nile.

Now, it is in two parts.
This is quite simple.

Part one is on next Sunday,
part two, the week after that.

Yep, and they are both worth a watch

because we do quite literally
rewrite history. We do indeed.

And, on that bombshell, time to end.
Thanks for watching.

See you next week. Good night!