Top Gear (2002–…): Season 22, Episode 1 - Episode #22.1 - full transcript

The Top Gear team revisit one of their more popular race between car, bicycle, boat and public transportation. The event takes place in the most northernly large city called St. Petersburg. Richard Hammond test drives the brand new Lamborghini.


Hello! Hello, everybody!

Yes, we're older, we're fatter,

we're greyer, but we're back!

We're back!


And for the first time ever, we are
being broadcast, simultaneously,

right around the world.

So, bonjour, g'day,

moshi moshi und wilkommen!

And coming up now is a taste
of what you can expect

over the next ten - yes, ten - weeks.

Are you ready?


We are revolutionising
the world of cowboying.

This is all perfectly normal.

Do not let American Top Gear

lap British Top Gear.



Coming to get you, Hammond.


You need a new rear exhaust silencer.


God's holy trousers!

Calm, controlled, smooth.

Good for the patient.

Fuelled up. I'm amped
up. I'm pumped up.

But it is... The Stig's
Australian cousin.

Argh! Argh! Argh!

May God have mercy.

What in God's name is happening?!


That all looks very exciting,

but we start tonight with
our sensible hats on.

You see, a few years ago, we
staged a race across London.

We used a car, public transport,
bicycle and a speedboat,

down the River Thames.
And it was one of our more

~ genuinely interesting tests.
~ Yeah, it was, but it's always troubled us,

because the bicycle,
ridden by me, won.

And the car, which is the
whole point of this show,

~ came home stone-dead last.
~ That's cos he was driving it.

~ Well, yeah.
~ It wasn't entirely fair, was it?

The car I had was a gigantic
Mercedes off-roader.

It's not really suitable
for London traffic.

Yes, whatever, OK? We decided
we would re-run the race,

only this time, we'd use a car
that was a little more suitable

for city centre work.

Absolutely, the question now,
though, was, which city?

Because we'd already
done London, obviously.

So, Jeremy got a map and a
pin and because he's very tall

and he has monkey's arms...

THAT is where we ended up.


This is St Petersburg,

in Russia - the most northerly

big city in the world.

And this is the car I'll be using.


This is the two-seat Renault Twizy.

It costs just ?7,000

and it's an all-electric car,

designed specifically for the narrow
streets of Europe's cities.

With this, I can't really lose.

Yes, he can, because
I shall be using this...

It's the same sort of bicycle
that Chris Froome used

in this year's Tour de France.

Now, it is expensive.

?9,000. It's ?2,000
more than James's car.

It's a lot for a bicycle, but it's
made of special carbon fibre,

so it weighs just 860 grams.

I love this thing.

~ Every detail, it's just...
Look at that, it's magnificent.
~ Morning.

~ Special.
~ Nice.
~ Yeah, I'd say.

~ Bloody hell!
~ I know!

~ That's amazing.
~ Yeah.

Yeah. Not good for you,
I'm afraid, Hammond.

I've got some medical research here.

That racing saddle will put

between 25% and 40% of your
body weight on your perineum,

which is the bit of you between
your anus and your scrotum.

And, as a result, blood oxygen
levels in surrounding areas

~ will drop by 80%.
~ What are you saying?

~ I just... Medical advice - cycling's
good for you. It's healthy...
~ Wrong!

~ ..gets your lungs working, non-impact.
~ Totally wrong.

~ Good for your cardiovascular system...
~ See.
~ .. bad for your chap.

~ My what?
~ Your chap. Uh, honestly, listen to this.

"Cyclists aged over 40 are considered

"at greater risk of
erectile dysfunction."

Yes, thank you, Dr Clarkson.
That's fascinating.

What about The Stig?

Oh, he's just on public
transport, as before, yeah.

~ And you?
~ Well, now, you see, last
time, as you know, I used

a speedboat to go across
London, but at the end,

it couldn't go on land, so I had
to run, which cost me the race.

This time, however,
I've chosen a boat

that can.

Hang on a minute, isn't
that a hover-van?

~ It looks like a hover-van.
~ Well, it is.
~ Well, listen, gentlemen,

most people laughed at our idea,

when we went on the River Avon in
ours, but the Russians have taken

~ our idea and put it into production!
~ It's a hover-van.
~ It's a hover-van!


~ Are you feeling proud?
~ I... This is fantastic.

Gull wing doors. We
didn't think of that.

~ It's got a proper dashboard!
~ I know. It's from a Lada.

~ It really does look like a van.
~ It is a van. It's got Lada engines,

two of them, 72 horsepower, reliable.

~ 72 horsepower?
~ Each.
~ 72?

~ How do you operate it?
~ Yeah, what do those two pedals do?

~ These?
~ Yeah.

~ Pitch.
~ What pitch?
~ Of?
~ Propeller pitch.

How do you steer it, with the wheel?

~ Ah, no. Yes.
~ No, yes?

When you're going quickly, this...

~ As you can see, I'm turning
the rudders, yes?
~ Yeah.

~ But that doesn't work at slow speed.
~ How do you steer it at slow speed?

~ With pitch.
~ So, if you're trying to
turn tightly at low speed,

~ when your rudders aren't very effective...
~ Yeah.

.. do you use differential throttle
or differential pitch?

~ (He doesn't know.)
~ Yes, I...
~ So, which do you do?
~ Both.

~ Are there instructions?
~ Yeah, all in Russian.

So, you're going to race
us in a hovercraft,

with a fraction of the power,
anyway, of the one we built,

plus, with controls
you don't understand,

and the instructions are in
Russian which you don't speak.

'With my confidence brimming,

'it was time to prepare
for our important race.'

If I'd come out and my bike had been
nicked, then, I'd have been furious.

We'd start at the
Vostochny Yacht Club

and, from there, we'd
race for 18 miles,

all the way across St Petersburg,

to the finish line on Yelagin Island,

outside a palace called

Yelagin... Ums-struss-struss-gids...

That's all in Russian.

That's all in Russian.



Right, this is it. Goodbye,
Stig. Forward into glory.

Here we go, defending the
honour of the car, sort of.

I don't know what any of that means!

Right, junction.

I've got my feet clipped in the
pedals, I simply cannot stop.

Stupid boy.

Wrong gear.



More power.


Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Oh, Christ!

Oh, no. That's...

a rock, a rock, a rock.

Well, we're just going into those
reeds and this does nothing.


~ It's

Forwards, again, on that. This
is... I'm busy, I'm very busy.

I think I saw a bump.


That's probably ruined
my sausage a bit more.


Bloomin' heck! Oh... da-da-da!

Oh, God strewth!

Now, it's just going round in
circles. Pitch, pitch, pitch.

Right, now, I want to go that way.

Christ on a bike! I'm
stuck in my own wake!

'As my three opponents...'

~ Come on!
~ 'Well, two of them,

'settled into the race, I
was getting to know my car.'

So, what is a Twizy, exactly?
Well, it's a metal cage,

this frame, and there are plastic
panels hung all over it.

There are two seats, one behind
the other, like a tandem.

Underneath me is the battery pack.
That powers a 17-horsepower

electric motor, driving
the rear wheels.


'Well, it can't actually go from
0-60, cos its top speed is 50.

'But it does have a claimed
range of 60 miles.

'And, as an extra treat...'

.. scissor doors. Have you
got scissor doors, sir?

No! Nyet!

However, the Twizy is stone age
technology, compared to my bicycle.

I actually have electronic
gears on this,

so when I hit the button
on the handlebars,

the derailleur, the thing at
the back that changes gear,

moves across, with
a Robocop-like noise.

'And to make the whole thing
as streamlined as possible,

'it's been shaped in
Jaguar's wind tunnel.'

It even directs the air
around the front forks

and around the drinking bottle, so
it doesn't hit the rider's shins,

which are very unaerodynamic.
Haha! There's May. Yes!


Hammond, here's what
17 horsepower will do.


Oh, God.

On board the only petrol-powered
vehicle in the race...

.. I'd discovered the solution to my
problems, as ever, was more power.

If you go quite quickly,
the steering works well.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Now I'm
heading for the wall! No!

I'm in a power slide!
I'm doing a skid!

Out of the way, birds, I can't steer!

Stig, meanwhile, had
finished with his tram

and was now heading for
the underground station.



We're back in front. It's going
to be like this all the way.

'On the river, I finally had
HMS Awkward under control.'

Come on, hover-van, catch the May!

And there's another hover-van!
My, they're popular!

22mph. Keeping a bit in reserve.

Long way yet to go.


Oh, really? Really?!

Overtakes a bicycle, with ease.

Get some speed on.

Oh, hang on, I think that's
him. Oh, no, there he is.

Come on, van!

That, I believe, is James May.

Where is Hammond? I don't
see... There he is!

Richard Hammond is in sight
and he's behind me and slow!


'Seconds later, I also took James.'


Cocking Nora.

Yes! Let's go win this race.

By this stage, Stig had
found a metro station.

And in this weird,
subterranean world,

he was distracted by
many wondrous things.

Can I take him in that gap?

Making a lane... Yes!

The interesting thing about the
Twizy is, it is a genuinely

small car. It's a genuine city car.

~ there's a tram.

I hate trams. They're trains running
down the road. Trains can't stop.

Whoa! Oh-oh-oh! Chuffin' tramlines.

'Still, it could be worse...'

Oh, no, don't want to go on the tram
tracks! I'm on the tram tracks!

I don't want to... Argh! There's
one coming in the way!

~ Oh! Argh!







Oh. Ah.

How's my bike?

Yeah. Oh, that's not good.

The derailleur's come off.

It's sheared.

Do you know what?

I think St Petersburg
has beaten me already.

'When the news reached my colleagues,

'they were suitably saddened.'


I mean, the one thing you
have to avoid, on a bicycle,

in a city with trams, is tramlines.

So, the fruit and nut-powered Richard
Hammond has not only ruined

his testes, his penis and his
anus, but he's fallen off!

This is a proper three-way
race to the finish now.


James, hang on.

James, how can you call this a car,

when it's got no heater,

the boot is the size of
a ladybird's clutch bag

and the doors and windows
are optional extras?

Yeah, but I like it cos it's simple.

James, it can't even do 0-60.

~ Yeah, but it's better than his hovercraft.
~ It is not!

~ Well, it's less deadly.
~ Hovercraft isn't deadly.

~ Yes, it is.
~ Listen, Hammond, two points...

Number one, I'm the only person
in that race who is representing

the Holy Trinity of
oil, coal and gas.

~ The Holy Trinity?
~ Yes, Holy Trinity.

And number two, every single city in
the world underuses its waterways.

They've all got jammed-up roads,
congested trains, packed buses

and, right in the middle,
a river with nothing on it,

apart from a couple of ducks.

That's because everyone's
terrified that there might be

~ somebody on it in a hovercraft.
~ Well, yes,

I agree waterways are underused, but
the hovercraft is not the answer.

~ It is!
~ No, it isn't, so let's do the news.


~ How?
~ How can we do the news, when it's over there

~ and we're, all three, over here?
~ See, normally,

we say, "Let's do the news"
and, well, two of us do

and one's over there. He
starts it and then we join.

~ But if we're all here... No, we can't...
~ Um.


I know. While we and the
cameras move over there,

we'll show some footage
of a squirrel.


Right, the news...


Sh, sh, sh, sh. And first of
all, bad news, I'm afraid,

because Britain's motorway network
is going to get a new type

of speed camera, which
is grey and invisible.

And unlike any other motorway speed
camera we've seen in the past,

this doesn't just come on when the
limit is lowered for some reason,

but it's on all the time, constantly.

~ Really?
~ Yeah, constantly.

That is funny, cos I seem to
remember the Tory Party saying

they were going to "end
the war on the motorist."

~ I remember that.
~ But you can end a war by
brutally killing everyone.

Hertfordshire Police said, "It's
not in the public interest

"to tell anyone where the cameras
are." So, fair enough,

we'll pay the fine. "I paid
it into a bank account,

~ "but I'm not going to tell you which one."
~ Work it out, yeah.

I'll tell you the really bad
news is that they're already

up and running in Kent,
by the way, these cameras.

Steve Harley, out of Cockney Rebel,
has been busted by one of them.

~ No!
~ Yes, he's 63 years old. He's
eking a meagre living out of,

let's be honest, only one hit single.

~ And now, they've nailed him.
~ How fast was he going?
~ 70.

But somebody in a motorway control
room, in polyester trousers,

with appallingly-smelly armpits,
had decided that the speed limit

at that particular moment, for
no good reason, should be 40.

~ 40?!
~ 40.
~ 40mph on a motorway?!

Yes, that was the speed limit that
was prevailing when he was caught.

~ How much did he get fined?
~ ?1,000.
~ 1,000 quid, for that?!

~ But I have an idea. You
know if you download a song?
~ Yeah.

The artist gets 49p. Now,
why don't we download,

~ (Come Up And See Me) Make Me Smile?
~ I love that song.

Everybody loves that song. You can't
trust someone who doesn't like it.

What are you doing, James?

I've already got it, but I can
delete it and download it again.

Imagine everybody did it!

He'd wake up tomorrow and
realise, "I'm number one!

~ "Where did that come from?!"
~ He wouldn't know, if he's not watching

Top Gear. "Why am I number
one, all of a sudden?!"

~ That would cheer him up.
~ And the great thing is if he does go

to number one, he'll have enough
money to help other people

out with their speeding fines.
We could call it the

Make Me Smile Foundation.

Oh, that's a beautiful idea!

He could take out a small ad
in the papers. He could say,

"Caught speeding?
Come up and see me."

It could work. Beautiful idea.

Now, Boris Johnson, who is a mayor,
has decided he wants to make London

an ultra-low emission zone. That's
easy, just get rid of all the buses.

~ And he's back on his high horse.
~ No, cos this time, I'm backed by fact.

~ Are you, really?
~ Yes, I am, because the
levels of nitrogen dioxide

pollution are measured
constantly in Oxford Street,

right in the middle of London. I've
got the graph here from the week

before last. You can see
here. 7th, this is the peak.

Yes, that's the 7th of January.
8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th -

the day of the bus strike.

~ Yeah.
~ So, there you are. You want
to save the world, burn a bus.


~ Let us move on.
~ Yes, let's.

I think we should talk about the
cars that we're looking forward to

~ this coming year.
~ Good idea.
~ Yes.

~ Tell you what I'm looking forward
to this year, coming up?
~ What?

Let's have a look at it. The Ariel
Nomad. Look at that. Come on!

~ It's just scaffolding.
~ No, it is brilliant, is what it is.

It's from Ariel, the same
people who made the Atom,

~ the car that ripped his face off?
~ I remember it.
~ It grew back, sadly,

but this thing is, kind of, an off-road
version of the same thing.

It's got a 2.4 litre engine now and
it's got all those body panels there.

They're made out of the same material
they use for traffic cones

and boat fenders, so that
thing is indestructible.

~ Which is a pity.
~ It's brilliant! I love it! Look at that!

Yes, but what are you
going to do with it?

Well, drive it about. You
can drive it on the road.

~ That goes on the road.
~ Yeah, but you can drive
a tractor on the road

~ or one of those massive cranes that do 8mph.
~ I like those, too.

I want one. I'm going to
have one. It's brilliant.

You are like a rural
simpleton, you know that?

What do you mean, he's
LIKE a rural simpleton?

The car I'm looking forward
to driving this year

~ is a hybrid, actually.
~ Is it?
~ Da-da!

There you go. Look at that.
That's the new Honda NSX.

Been waiting years for this.
It's got three electric motors -

one for each of the front wheels
and then one at the back,

to supplement the twin-turbo V6 -

550hp, weighs virtually nothing.
?100,000. But if you think about it,

that's a tenth of the price of a
McLaren P1. That's just fabulous.

~ I don't like it.
~ That's cos you're a rural simpleton.

~ No, it doesn't look right.
~ It does look right!
~ Is it exciting enough?

No, I do like it. I think it looks
great and sounds interesting,

but I thought you would be more
interested in this, the new Ford GT.

~ Oh, yeah.
~ That's more you.
~ Nah.
~ Why not? I'd have thought that was...

No, I know. I've been
there and I've, sort of,

done that, with Ford GTs.

~ Yeah.
~ They'll fit it with a burglar
alarm that will go off every time

you fall asleep or when your child's
doing some important solo work

in the school production
- "Woo-woo-woo!"

This is weirdly specific.
Stuff that happened to you.

I know what will happen
and then you'll drive home

and get a phone call from somebody,
saying, "Your car's been stolen."

You'll say, "It hasn't,
I'm driving it."

"We don't believe you. What's
your mother's maiden name?

"Did she like boiled eggs
done for three minutes?"

"I don't know." "We're going
to shut the engine down"

and you're at the side of the road

and get hypothermia and then
the alarm will go off again. No.

And I'm, sort of, done now, as
you know, cos I'm mature and wise,

with mid-engined cars. That does
look great, but just not for me.

Now, that's nearly the end of the
news, but before we conclude,

I need to say something, actually.
I'm sure a lot of you saw

the Patagonia Special and I
want to admit, here and now,

in front of everybody, I made
a terrible, terrible mistake.

Nobody knows I'm going to do this
- not the producers, nobody -

but I want to get it off my chest.
Right in the middle of the programme

I said that the condor is the largest
flying bird in the world.

It isn't. It's the
wandering albatross

and I'm deeply, deeply sorry.

Well done for getting that
off your chest. Feel better?


No, if you make a mistake,
own up to it and move on!

Fair enough. Right...

.. now, we must move on to this,

the Lamborghini Gallardo. It is
the company's best-selling car.

In fact, of all the Lamborghinis
ever sold, over half of them

have been Gallardos.

Now, though, sadly, it's gone and
in its place, there is a new car.

Here it is.

It's called the Huracan, after
a famous Spanish fighting bull.

It costs ?187,000.

And it's brand new,
from the ground up.

Oh, well, that's a
problem right there.

I could've sworn this
car was bright green,

but according to the options
list, it's Verde Mantis.

Other colours available include

"Arancio Borealis, Grigio Nimbus
and Marrone Alcestis."

How's a Premiership footballer
going to get his head around that?

Anyway... to business.


Besides having to take over
the baton from the Gallardo...

.. the Huracan also needs to hold
its own in a game of top trumps

against the Ferrari 458
and the McLaren 650S.

To do that, there are some
very big boxes to tick.

0-60 needs to be around three
seconds... which it is.

Top speed needs to be around
200mph... which it is.

And horsepower needs to
be around the 600-mark,

which it is.

All of that is thanks to
a heavily-reworked version

of the Gallardo's 5.2 litre V10.

And as those revs climb, the
jackhammer choir really kicks in.

The Huracan also has a
brand-new, state-of-the-art

twin-clutch gearbox, which is superb.

That's a good thing, because
the one in the Gallardo was...

Well, it was crap. It was awful!

This, though, this is a joy.

And there's more hi-tech weaponry
at this car's disposal.

It has carbon ceramic
brakes, as standard.

The back end is sculpted
so it doesn't need

a stuck-on rear spoiler
for downforce.

And, like most Lambos, it has
a four-wheel drive system.

But not just ANY
four-wheel drive system.

It has three gyroscopes on board,
like you get on a fighter jet,

and they're busy monitoring
everything that's going on.

They send all that information
back to the four-wheel drive brain

and it then decides how much power
to send to each individual wheel.

My head hurts just thinking
about how all that works.

The result is, you can corner
at sensational speeds.

I'm glued down. The
grip is astonishing.

It's almost undefeatable.

If slithering about is your thing,
you can have fun in the Huracan...

Ye gods!

..but you need an enormous
pair of gentleman balloons...

.. and your own personal
airfield to play on.

And, for me, this is where
the problems begin.

This Huracan has been designed,
on the road, to feel tame

and user friendly.

You don't get that special
Lamborghini mentalist feeling,

unless you are here, with an entire
airfield under your wheels.

And that's a bit of a
heartbreaker, actually.

And while we're on it,
there's another issue.

And it's a big thing.

Basically - bear with me
on this - it's the looks.

I know it's bright green and low
and there's a bull on the front,

but I just don't think that
the Huracan is special enough

for a Lamborghini.

Lamborghinis should be jaw-dropping -

that's why they make the
best bedroom wall posters -

and I just don't see it with this.

I think the problem is, this has been
designed to sell many, many times

and to still look good
in ten years' time.

And I think, for that reason,
they've played it safe.

Lamborghini, like every car company,

has got to shift units to survive,
but I think, with the Huracan,

they have thrown the baby
out with the bath water.

I've had some good times - no, great
times - in Lamborghinis, on Top Gear.

And if the producers got my e-mail...

.. there shall now follow
a montage showing that.


This is just so exciting!


That's absolutely brutal!


The most alive thing I've
ever driven. It's beautiful.

Now, as a car, this
Huracan is probably

better than all those
other Lamborghinis,

but those cars are
better Lamborghinis.

The other Lamborghinis made you
feel special, even in traffic.

This doesn't. And that's a loss.

What we have here is a Lamborghini
that I respect for its engineering,

but love it? Quiver at
the very sight of it?

I'm afraid not.

This is annoying.

~ This is really annoying.
~ Why?

~ Because I completely
agree with you, for once.
~ Do you?!
~ Yeah.

It's... Lamborghinis
should be mad and stupid

and have rockets coming
out of their exhausts.

And this, I don't know, it
just doesn't float my boat.

I know, it's almost as though
they actually want to sell cars.

And that is idiotic.

No, no, seriously, because you know
James and I have always said that,

~ one day, we'll open a pub?
~ Yes.

And it'll be the best pub in
the world, specifically because

we won't allow anyone in it.

~ Not anyone?
~ No, nobody at all. Nobody.

I know an accountant would say, "That's
a ridiculous business plan",

but it will be good, because
it won't be cluttered up

with people with smelly bottoms
wanting scampi in a basket.

Yeah, but what's this got
to do with Lamborghini?

Because Lamborghini should be making
cars that they want to make,

not cars that their accountants
think will make a few quid.

Yeah, I think maybe the problem
here is that Lamborghini

is owned by Audi.

And would you drink in
a pub owned by Audi?

God, no. No!

So, would you drive a car
designed by Weatherspoons?

~ No.
~ No, I wouldn't do that, either.

Anyway, we've got to find out how
fast this goes round our track.

And that means handing it over
to our tame racing driver.

Some say that his favourite
football formation is 8-8-19.

And while we were off air,
his iCloud was hacked

and now everyone in the
world has seen his helmet.

All we know is, he's called The Stig!


And he's off. Tiny bit of wheel
spin and then the gyros

and computers tell the four-wheel
drive stuff to do its thing!

Flying through the first corner,
Stig really working hard

at the wheel of Kermit's wash bag.

MUSIC: We've Only Just
Begun by The Carpenters

Mmm, Stig enjoying a smooth serving
of The Carpenters, there.

No dramas through Chicago.

Now, Hammerhead.

All-wheel drive cars
can push wide here.

Stig using a very delicate
steer. No whiff of understeer.

Just flying round there
and out the other side.

? Sharing horizons that are new... ?

OK, Follow Through.
A chance to really get

the ten-cylinder hammer down.


Whatever Stig did during his holiday
has made him extra committed.

Just two corners left. Turning
in, with precision.

Ooh, he's gone a bit
sideways up to Gambon.

Skates it through there
and across the line.


This is amazing. This is truly
amazing, because it did it...

It did it in 1.15.8,
which means it goes

~ right the way up there. Look at it.
~ Wow.
~ It's quicker than the McLaren

MP4-12C. It's quicker than its
big brother, the Aventador.

(And that means everything we've
been saying is completely wrong.)

Well, no, because I still think...

That IS good, but it would
be better if it was slower,

but had knives sticking
out of the wheels.

No, you're right because this part
of the board is where Ferraris

and serious stuff should live
and Lamborghinis should be here,

~ which, interestingly enough,
is where the Gallardo is.
~ Yeah.

Anyway, we must now put a star
in our reasonably-priced car.

Now there are many, many well-known
Eds in the world these days.

There's Harris, Miliband, Balls.


There is. But... But my
guest tonight is the best

and the newest Ed of them all.
Ladies and gentlemen - hmm-hmm -

Ed Sheeran!


Ooh, upcoming star, how are you?

Ed Sheeran is here!


He's here.

Thank you so much for coming.

Now, obviously, you're a
massive global megastar now,

but is it true, what, five
years ago, you were busking

~ on the London Underground?
~ No.


No, I, eh...

Did you ever sleep on
the London Underground?

~ Yeah, well...
~ Ah, I knew there was something you'd done

~ on the London Underground!
~ No, it was... Yeah, it was just...

I would, if there wasn't a
place to stay, which, often,

it was too late for me to call anyone
for a sofa, I would stay out till

about 5am and then get on the Circle
Line and just, kind of, lean up,

and then get up around 12 and....

And just go round and round,
cos it is warm down there and...

~ It's great. It's great.
~ There you go, there's a top tip.

~ And did you sleep in the heating
duct at Buckingham Palace?
~ No, no.

~ There's another no.
~ It was outside of Buckingham
Palace, not in it.

This is what I find fascinating,
cos five years ago,

you were trying to find somewhere
warm to sleep in London.

People have really taken it
out of context. The Daily Mail

~ have taken the quote and been...
~ No(!)

No, I won't believe that the
Daily Mail makes stuff up(!)

It wasn't, like, a massive
hardship or anything.

I wasn't living anywhere in London.
I was sleeping on people's sofas

and sometimes they didn't have sofas
to sleep on. It wasn't common,

~ but it did happen, yeah.
~ Cos you were gigging a lot in those days,

~ working your bottom off.
~ I haven't stopped yet. It's still...

But you were travelling
down to Exeter, to get...

~ How much for performing in Exeter?
~ That was the worst thing.

It was an 80 quid train ticket
to Exeter and I was getting paid

?50 for the gig and I arrived and
soundchecked with the sound engineer.

He was like, "Doors are at seven."

Got to seven, I was on
at 7.30. It was empty.

He said, "Wait 15 minutes,
see if people turn up." Empty.

15 minutes later, "Yeah,
wait another ten minutes."

We ended up waiting an hour. No-one
turned up, so I just played to him.

~ What did he say?
~ No, it was all right.

And then I was, like, "Cool,
see you later, mate",

got my ?50 and went and I'd
missed the last train home.

But I'd just bought, from eBay,
a Pokemon on the Game Boy Colour.

And I just got that. So, I sat at the
train station, until the morning,

until the next train, playing
Pokemon. It was great.

It's where you learn it all from.

So, now you've got to the
point from playing Pokemon

on Exeter railway station, have
you not just sold out Wembley for,

~ how many nights is it?
~ Three nights.
~ Just you? In front of a crowd

~ of 80,000-90,000?
~ Around that, yeah.
~ Does that make you nervous?

I was more nervous about today, doing
the lap. Genuinely, genuinely.

Cos I mean your whole life is...
Obviously, you've met De Niro now.

~ Clinton?
~ Yeah.
~ And then, today, you met James May.
~ Yeah.

So, you've completed the circle.

Can I talk a bit about your early
life, before we get on to the cars,

if we may? Cos I was slightly
staggered. You had a number

of illnesses when you were
little. (Not just your hair.)


~ Glaucoma?
~ It probably could have led to that.

I had a big birthmark
on the side of my face

~ that I had to get lasered
off. And weird eyes.
~ Weird eyes.

And you had to play
sports wearing some...

Well, my view on it is that I was
a very weird kid in primary school

and I probably didn't
have a lot of friends,

but, I think, God looked down
and went, "You need some help"

~ and gave me a guitar and it worked out.
~ And here you are.
~ Yes.

~ Good old God.
~ The second half of my life is much more fun

than the first half and
I'd rather that way round,

because half of the popular
kids in school,

I mean, you know, are...


~ their lives up.


Now, we'd better get on, I'm afraid,
to the elephant in the room.

~ Yes.
~ Um... Ed can't drive.


And I don't just mean you
have no driving licence.

We've had that before,
with Johnny Vegas

and Jack Whitehall, more recently.
But how much can't you drive?

Or how much couldn't you drive
before you got here today?

I'd never sat in the driver's seat
or put my hand on a steering wheel.

The reason I said yes
to Top Gear is that

I thought it would be funny,
the first time that I drive.

It is... This must be the first-ever
televised driving lesson.

I think so many 17-year-olds around
the world would want The Stig

to teach them how to drive
and that's what happened.

I think it is very, very
ballsy to come here, saying,

"I don't mind being filmed
for my first ever lap."

You have actually bought
cars for people -

~ sound engineers and so on.
~ Yeah, I bought... Basically, every year

I give people who work for me
a Christmas bonus and this guy

who works for me was, basically,
every year, spending his Christmas

bonus on things you should spend
your bonus on - his family.

But he would always go on about
wanting a Porsche 911 Carrera.

"Oh, that's my dream car, but
I'm doing up the bathroom next",

~ so this year, I just got him the Porsche.
~ You bought him a 911?

~ Yeah.
~ Didn't you buy another
sound engineer a Smart car?

I bought my guitar tech a Smart
car, but that was another...

What's he done wrong(?) How does
he feel going, "Oh, brilliant"?

I see these people,
day in and day out,

and they always talk about
the thing that they want most.

He's got really low ambition.
We need to have a word with him.

Are you sure he's doing your guitars
properly? Cos if he thinks

a Smart's a good enough car,
when he could have said a 911!

It's different strokes
for different folks.

You're right. Now, moving on to
your lap. How was it out there?

It was interesting.
It was interesting.

I had some very funny bloopers, which
I'm sure you're going to show.

We wouldn't do that.

Yes, we would.

Who'd like to see Ed's first-ever
driving lesson on television?

ALL: Yes!

We've got one or two clips
we'd like to show first

of a few slip-ups. Let's
have a look at those.

So this is... Whoa, that's
the second to last corner,

~ but you missed that by a long way there.
~ That looks great.

Oh, my God, is that the Follow...?
They go through the tyres!

You're not going to hold it. You did!

Oh, wait, wait, wait! Argh!

Not again, not again at the
Follow Through? The same!

What staggers me about that
is, when the car is sliding,

particularly going through
there, which is about 80mph.

So, it's sliding like that.
Most people just give up,

but you, actually, were wrestling
with the controls in there.

That wasn't planned.

I just didn't know to take
my foot off the accelerator.

You just kept it on?

Yeah, I wasn't, like, "I'm going
sort this out and show everyone

"that I'm really good at driving."
It was, literally, just like "Ah!"

How do you actually walk
about when they're that big?

Shall we have a look at the
fastest lap? Everybody ready?

ALL: Yeah!

Play the tape. Come on. Here we go.

Yes, wheel spin from an automatic.
Oh, it is wet, isn't it? Yeah.

Come on.

It will and here it comes.
Down to the first corner

and around it. Still can't believe
that you had never driven

a car before this morning.

And you're around at... Slightly
wide, but never mind.

We're off towards Chicago now.

Come on, come on, come
on, yeah. Yep, yep, yep.

Like it. Neat and tidy through there.

No real problems, at
all, and with tyre...

Yes, the tyres are squealing.

Keep your hands on the
wheel, that is important.

And this is the Hammerhead, designed
to catch out the unwary and the new.

But it hasn't got you!

Right, now, this is it.

This is coming up to what
we call the Follow Through,

cos if you get it wrong
that's what happens.


Lifting? No, you're not lifting.

Nobody's ever had tyre squeal on
their first-ever driving lesson.

Through the tyres, can he
do this? Yes, looking good.

Oh, crikey, a little bit
of brake action there

or that could be automatic,
on the car's part.

Second to last corner,
catches most people out,

but not you, not today.

Into Gambon...

And, oh, there was a
burst of acceleration.

And there we are, across the line!


~ Right, now...
~ It looked slower than it felt.
~ It does.

It's not a fast car. There are faster
ones available on the market.

Where do you think
you've come on our...?

As long as I beat Jack
Whitehall, I'm happy.

Two things... One - Jack had
driven a car before he got here,

although he had no licence. And the
track was mildly moist for him,

barely wet, but it was very wet for
you, so it obviously slows you down.

So, he did a 1.54.5.

And you, Ed Sheeran...

you were...



ALL: Ooh!


~ And in wet. You've done it!


That is... Are you genuinely
amazed by that? Cos I am.

I guess so, but, like, that one
was the best time that I did it.

And the times before that
were probably about 2.30.

~ So, um...
~ Well, with that level of improvement,

we should just give Ed
a driving licence now.

~ ALL: Yes!
~ Ladies and gentlemen, Ed Sheeran!


Now, tonight, we are staging
one of our important races,

between the car, public
transport, a bicycle

and Jeremy's rather fanciful belief
that we should travel everywhere

on rivers.

Yes, we are racing across
St Petersburg in Russia.

And when we left the action,
Jeremy was in the lead,

in his uncontrollable hovercraft.

James was second, in his
tiny, electric Renault.

The Stig was somewhere
or other on a metro train.

And I had fallen off my
bicycle and broken it.

OK, this is good.

Flat out on water.

Remaining range - it tells me
it is 40 miles, that's plenty.

Bit of a jink round him.


You're probably thinking, "What's
the point of that tiny little car?

"Look at the size of
that road he's on."

Yes. But we're not in St
Petersburg proper, yet.

We're still on the outskirts.
When we get near the middle,

there's going to be a small alleyway,

something built before
cars were invented.

Things wide enough for a horse.

And then, I shall sweep to victory.

The Stig, James and Jeremy were
battling in what they thought

was a three-horse race.

But I had other plans...

~ So, you speak English?
~ I do.
~ And you don't speak English?

~ A little bit.
~ Can you interpret?

I've broken my bike.
I fell off my bicycle.

Can I borrow your bike?

~ No.
~ Oh, please. I'm in a race.

~ A hovercraft has gone past now.
~ I'm late, I have to go to my work.

If we give you a lift to work,
can I borrow your bike?


~ OK.
~ Really, can we?
~ Yes.

Really? What a gentleman!

As a producer took the
kind young man to work,

I was getting to grips
with his wheels.

OK, this isn't as fast as the
other bicycle, I'll be honest.

I'm doing 16mph, instead
of 22, and it's killing me.

Hammond would have struggled to
catch up with me on his ?9,000

Tour de France bike, but on some
clunky old piece of Russian pig-iron

that he's borrowed from a local,
he's got no chance, has he?

Let's be honest.

On HMS Petrol, I wasn't worried
about Hammond's recovery

because my lead was immense!

And I was going like
a bat out of hell.


Right through the middle.

But then, I hit the city centre.

Got hydrofoils coming in at speed
from the left and the right.

Two ferries and a water taxi.

Oh, my giddy aunt, there's
one over there.

~ Oh


In traffic like this, the
hover-van was a menace.

Turn! Turn!

Good God, I'm totally out of control.

Holy mother of God, turn!

Turn! Turn!


~ Oh
~ Not very...

I'm crashing into St Petersburg now.

Power! Come on, hover-van.

Oh, there's swimmers. Oh,
please, turn. Please.

I, too, had reached the city
centre, where the tiny Twizy

would come into its own, in
the ancient narrow streets.

Oh, cock.

The main roads were
eight lanes wide...

.. and the side roads
weren't much thinner.

Small wonder there are no parking
regulations in St Petersburg.

There's no need.

Look at it. Could have done this
in a stretch Lincoln Continental

or a Hummer or something.

Worse, worse. Just worse.

I will not give up,
I will not give up.

22 miles an hour there. Oh.

And I think I'm going to be sick.

Meanwhile, back on the river...


Holy Moley!


And another one!

'In order to avoid
death by hydrofoil,

'I decided to leave the river
and use St Petersburg's canals.'

This is a canal, it's what I need.

They were much quieter, but
there was now another problem.

No, don't...

To get under the low bridges,
I had to deflate the skirts.

That meant coming off the power
and coasting, which went well(!)

Sinking. Sinking now.

Oh, giddy aunt.

Oh, Christ, this is lower,
this is even lower.

Two and a half metres,

that's pretty much the height
of the props on the back.

No, no, no, don't rise
up, don't rise up!

Oh, my... No, no, no.

In the Twizy, I'd discovered that
no matter how wide the streets

may be, a jam is still a jam.

See, look, small cars don't
make any difference.

If I was on the bike, I'd be
down there, but no car is narrow

enough for that.

While James sat motionless, I was
now entering the city centre...

I can still do this. Oh.

.. where I discovered that cyclists
are completely invisible.

Oh, you're not... You
didn't... Honestly?!

Not even an attempt, was there?

Argh, wait for me, numb nuts.


On the underground, Stig had noticed
that many of his fellow passengers

were holding on to strange things.

And so, at the next station, he
decided he should have one, too.

I'm on the tram lines
and in a traffic jam.

Come on, come on, come on.

Terrified that I'll see Richard
Hammond turning up any second

on his stolen mountain bike.

Man stopped in the bus lane,
looking under his car,

probably for a cyclist he's run over.

Don't worry about me, I'm just
a cyclist. I'm just a pigeon.

Don't you worry yourself, chum.

Like all cyclists,
Hammond was becoming

~ full of rage and aggression.
~ Come on, really?!

Whereas, in my un-air-conditioned
hover-van, I was becoming hot,

bothered and stuck.

Sweating. Sweating a lot.

Not certain this was a good
idea. I really am not.

Oh, now, this one is tight.

Lower. No, no, no, Christ.

Bloody hell.

Scary! No, no, no, no, no!


Oh... Not now, not now, not
now! I'm in a big problem!


~ Oh,
~ I should have actually gone to the right.

Right, U-turn.

Concentrate, May.

Thanks to James's famously-poor
sense of direction,

I was now in with a shout,

especially as I could take a short-cut
through the Winter Palace.


Thank goodness James has got
a Twizy to fit in this place(!)

Little corner cut, that'll
save me a minute or two.

Water coming up, over the bridge.

In the hover-van, I was
finally free of the canals

and back on the now
traffic-free river.

I've got a lot of time to
make up now. Come on! Power!

We were now entering the
final stages of our race.

And at this point,

because all of us were all over the
place, any one of us could win it.

Coming past. I can have
that, I'll have that.

Whoa, heavy turn.

Full thrust!

I will not give up, I will
not give up. Come on!

Really giving this thing
the electric berries here.


That is 144 horsepower,
right there. Ha-ha!

~ What the ~ BLEEP
~ hell, are you...? You great gangly
~ BLEEP ~ knuckle

~ greasy-haired ~ BLEEP
~ bag. ~ BLEEP
~ you.

That's more like it.
A narrow side street.

We can win this, van.

Come on.

Come on, come on.

I'm very close.


There it is. There's the end point.

Where is this unpronounceable
palace? Where is James May?

Where is The Stig?

There it is. Yes, there
is the finish line!

Oh, wait a minute, have I got to
get up that bloody thing? I have.

Somewhere around here, I'm looking
for a big white palace.

Right, here we go!

No! No, no, no, no, no.


Oh, God!

It's Hammond. Bloody hell. Ha-ha!

Argh. Not again. Argh!

Please tell me, have I won?

Oh, Christ, look behind you.

Oh, Jesus.

Well, there we are. Proof
that the car is...

~ Is better.
~ It's better.
~ Was worth it.

I'm afraid, even when
it's comedically small,

~ French and electric, it's still better.
~ I've ruined my penis

~ and ?9,000-worth of bicycle.
~ Yep. I've just realised something.

~ What?
~ Three of us are here.

~ Yeah, I completely forgot.
~ Oh, hang on.
~ Where is The Stig?

Where is he?



James May has restored
the reputation of the car.

~ Yes.
~ Thing is, though... The thing is, though,

if you don't want to drive
around in a little Philishave,

with optional doors, you'll
have to buy what came second,

which, of course, was the hovercraft.

Oh, no, hang on a minute. I would
have won that by 20 minutes,

~ if I hadn't fallen off.
~ Yes, but you did fall off. Twice, in fact.

~ Yeah.
~ In an 18-mile journey,
you consumed two bicycles.

~ I did, yeah.
~ All we learned from you
is that you're a spanner

and it's difficult to draw
any meaningful conclusions

from The Stig's journey.
So, in that whole film,

we've learned absolutely
nothing, at all.

And on that bombshell,
it is time to end.

Thank you so much for watching. See
you again next week. Good night!