Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond & James May mark season launch of Top Gear with a one-off live fan event

We took the cars well out of their comfort zoneRichard Hammond
Date: 19.01.2015     Last updated: 19.01.2015 at 10.07
Category: BBC Worldwide
An Evening with Top Gear streamed globally on YouTube

This evening Top Gear fans around the world were treated to a special preview of the new series one week before the launch of Season 22. An Evening with Top Gear featured the presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in conversation with host, Christian O’Connell in front of a live and global audience of fans.

Talking about the new series Richard Hammond said “we’re getting back to what we do best”. Some of the topics included their trips to Australia, Russia and Canada and all the challenges they faced in the new series from Richard being parachuted onto a mountain side and left to survive on his own until Jeremy and James came to the rescue - to their attempts to improve on ambulances which saw Clarkson and Hammond trying to put a catheter into a “very realistic dummy while being driven by Stig. I’ll be honest with you, it was beastly” according to Jeremy Clarkson.

For Season 22 the trio embarked on their first ever challenge in Australia, travelling to the remote Northern Territories to film. Talking about this series the presenters commented:

Jeremy Clarksdon “It’s the first time we’ve ever done one of these films where we’ve taken three modern cars

Richard Hammond: “and expensive ones

Jeremy Clarkson: “But for the first time ever all three of us liked all of the cars

Richard Hammond: “We took the cars well out of their comfort zone

The Australian Northern Territories film sees the boys try to herd cattle on a 3.2 million acre farm: 

Jeremy Clarkson: “The farmer said he would try to make it easier by putting all the cattle in one paddock. I told him that’s very kind of you, how big is the paddock? He said 39,000 acres! When you’re looking for 4,000 cows they could have been in Southampton and we could have been in Bambury!

The dramatic series opener sees the boys in Russia for an incredible race across the vast and very beautiful urban landscape of St Petersburg. May defends the honour of the car in a very small Renault, Hammond tries to prove that pedalling is faster by saddling up a bicycle, whilst Clarkson attempts to demonstrate that water is the quickest way across town, especially if you’re in a hovercraft. To make matters more complicated, all three presenters are racing not only each other but also The Stig, who is silently making his way towards the finish line on public transport.

Following an explanation from Jeremy about the challenges of driving a hovercraft through Russia’s water ways. Richard Hammond commented: “I didn’t see what you were doing because I was riding a bicycle but I was disappointed because I was pretty sure you were going to die!

The special one-off event was broadcast worldwide on Top Gear’s official YouTube channel and BBC Red Button with the event available for 30 days on BBC iPlayer in the UK.

Top Gear is the world’s most widely watched factual television programme according to the Guinness Book of World Records; broadcasts to 214 territories worldwide; has an estimated global audience of 350 million; and has over 24 million fans on Facebook. The show’s successful format has already spawned local versions in the US, China, Russia, Australia and South Korea.      

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