Top Gear (2002) s22e01 Episode Script

Race Across St. Petersburg

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Hello! Hello, everybody! Yes, we're older, we're fatter, we're greyer, but we're back! We're back! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE 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? Now! We are revolutionising the world of cowboying.
This is all perfectly normal.
Do not let American Top Gear lap British Top Gear.
Hammond! WOLF HOWLS Coming to get you, Hammond.
RAUCOUS LAUGHTER You need a new rear exhaust silencer.
SCREECHING TYRES 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?! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE 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.
VARIETY OF RUSSIAN MEDIA BROADCASTS This is St Petersburg, in Russia - the most northerly big city in the world.
And this is the car I'll be using.
QUACKING 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! TRIUMPHANT CLASSICAL MUSIC ~ 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.
QUACKING HE COUNTS DOWN 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.
HE TITTERS MECHANICAL WHIRRING More power.
Move! 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.
Back! ~ It's ~ BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP.
Forwards, again, on that.
This is I'm busy, I'm very busy.
I think I saw a bump.
Ow! That's probably ruined my sausage a bit more.
CHILDREN LAUGH 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.
'Acceleration? 'Well, it can't actually go from '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! RICHARD SNIGGERS Hammond, here's what Yee-hah! 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.
CAR HORN PEEPS HE LAUGHS 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! Long way yet to go.
TOOTING 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! Ah.
'Seconds later, I also took James.
' HE LAUGHS 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.
~ BLEEP ~ 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! ~ BLEEP.
~ Oh! Argh! ~ BLEEP.
HORN BEEPS BLEEP.
Ah.
Oh.
Argh! Oh.
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.
' HE CHORTLES 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.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE 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.
Um ~ 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.
LAUGHTER I know.
While we and the cameras move over there, we'll show some footage of a squirrel.
LAUGHTER Right, the news LAUGHTER 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.
the day of the bus strike.
~ Yeah.
~ So, there you are.
You want to save the world, burn a bus.
LAUGHTER ~ 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 - £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? APPLAUSE 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.
Oh-ho! 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.
seconds which it is.
Top speed needs to be around 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.
Whoa! This is just so exciting! Oh-ho-ho-ho! That's absolutely brutal! Whaa-ha-ha! 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! CHEERING 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.
Wow! 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.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE 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.
LAUGHTER There is.
But But my guest tonight is the best and the newest Ed of them all.
Ladies and gentlemen - hmm-hmm - Ed Sheeran! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Ooh, upcoming star, how are you? Ed Sheeran is here! RENEWED APPLAUSE AND CHEERING 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.
LAUGHTER 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.
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.
) LAUGHTER ~ 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 LAUGHTER ~ BLEEP ~ their lives up.
LAUGHTER Now, we'd better get on, I'm afraid, to the elephant in the room.
~ Yes.
~ Um Ed can't drive.
LAUGHTER 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.
EXHALES DEEPLY 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! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE ~ 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! .
.
3.
~ CHEERING AND APPLAUSE ~ And in wet.
You've done it! Yeah.
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! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE 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.
Ho-ho! 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? HE TRANSLATES ~ 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.
Power.
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 ~ BLEEP.
HORNS BLARE 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! No! ~ Oh ~ BLEEP.
~ 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.
And I think I'm going to be sick.
Meanwhile, back on the river HORN BLARES Holy Moley! HORN BLARES 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.
ANNOUNCEMENT IN RUSSIAN 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! MOBILE PHONE RINGS Oh Not now, not now, not now! I'm in a big problem! What? ~ Oh, ~ BLEEP, ~ 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.
Wow.
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.
Buffeting! That is 144 horsepower, right there.
Ha-ha! ~ What the ~ BLEEP ~ hell, are you? You great gangly ~ BLEEP ~ knuckle ~ BLEEP, ~ 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.
Ah.
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.
Stopping.
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? METALLIC CLANGING CHEERING AND APPLAUSE 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! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE