- Jan 23, 2007
- Geelong, Australia
Couldn't decide if this was more relevant to this forum or the normal Top Gear one:
http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,26278,24280607-10229,00.htmlClarkson and co-stars Richard Hammond and James May launched their Top Gear Live world tour by driving a tank across London's iconic Tower Bridge.
Asked if they could try a similar stunt on the Sydney Harbour Bridge when the stage show reaches Australia in February, the irreverent Clarkson replied: "Yes. Is it strong enough? Was it built by convict labour or did we build it?"
He also wrote off Australian motoring, with one exception.
"Australia has given the world what we call the VXR over here, the magnificent Monaro.
"From a country that gave the world only the rotary washing line, it's fantastic."
But Clarkson, 48, was quick to give his stamp of approval to Top Gear Australia, our own TV version to be launched on SBS later this month - featuring The Daily Telegraph's Warren Brown as host.
"Everyone here is extremely happy with it. It all seems to be slotting into place," he said.
"I think the Top Gear cocking-about humour translates very well in Australia and New Zealand. It just works over there. I think Aussies and Kiwis get it.
"It makes perfect sense that three middle aged guys would want to see if they could make a stretched limo."
The $40 million Top Gear Live roadshow will be appearing at indoor theatres in seven cities over the next six months, attracting an audience of up to 300,000 people.
Clarkson yesterday said part of the motivation for the stage format was that there was the equivalent of an 18-year wait to join the TV show's live audience.
"There was a huge demand from all over the world for us to go and perform," he said.
The 75-minute shows will include supercars, stunt driving and variations of popular interactive segments such as the "Cool Wall", where visitors will rank their favourite vehicles.
The hosts will play car football and anonymous racing driver The Stig will take on a fire-breathing monster called Swampy.
Clarkson and Hammond will host 10 shows in Sydney from February 6 to 9, with tickets yet to go on sale.
Clarkson has a long history of having a laugh at Australia's expense.
After England defeated Australia in the rugby world cup final five years ago, Clarkson used a newspaper column to compare the development of Australia and the United States.
"What have the Australians ever done? What is the name of their prime minister? How much is an Aussie dollar worth? Name five films that they've made. Now go round your house and try to find something that was made there. Your computer? Your car? Your trousers?," he wrote.
"When someone has outgrown their home country, they move to America to become even more successful.
"Whereas you never hear anyone say, 'Well I'm totally happy. I have lots of friends, an enjoyable career and a great family. So I'm moving to Australia'.
"As a nation of losers, then, this weekend's result should have been no more of a surprise for Australia than the victory was for us English."
However, he passed yesterday when given a golden opportunity to rub salt in the wounds over Britain's higher position on the Olympics medal board.
"I've been away. I missed it all. Did we beat you? No really, I've been very cut off," he said.
An accident in a Monaro put Clarkson off the road three years ago. He put the car at number seven on a list of the world's top 10 fastest vehicles.
"Think of it as an Aussie from the outback," he wrote at the time. "Maybe he can't quote Shakespeare. Maybe he's never heard of Terence Conran. But he can smash all the teeth clean out of your mouth with a single punch. That's the Monaro."