Jeremy Clarkson farm shop to open

Crop Gear: Jeremy Clarkson’s farm shop is now open

Jeremy Clarkson farm shop to open

The opening of a farm shop shouldn’t generate many column inches beyond the parish news or local rag. But most farm shops aren’t owned by Jeremy Clarkson.

His ‘unheated and meat free’ farm shop has now fully opened. As a result, you can expect the roads in and around the Oxfordshire village of Chadlington to be rather busy.

In a tweet on Friday 21 February, The Grand Tour presenter and farmer said: “My farm shop opens tomorrow afternoon. Twitter friendly as it’s unheated and meat free. Do drop in if you’re in the Chipping Norton area.”

When pressed for a precise opening time, Clarkson said: “The afternoon; like I said.” Form an orderly queue around lunchtime…

Last year, Jeremy Clarkson was forced to defend plans to build a shop at Diddly Squat Farm. Locals said the farm shop would have a “negative impact on the landscape”. At the time, Clarkson told the BBC: “I really know I’m not doing anything wrong or anything that would hurt the village.”

West Oxfordshire District Council granted planning permission last year, with approval granted on the proviso that the shop can only sell produce grown on-site or by West Oxfordshire producers. When asked whether he has grown the produce himself, Clarkson tweeted: “All of it.”

Top Beer

Jeremy Clarkson

This comes ahead of Clarkson’s new Amazon show which has the working title of ‘I Bought The Farm’. The eight-part series will see the former Top Gear presenter and “inept townie” attempting to run the 1,000-acre working farm. 

In a video released in October 2019, Jeremy Clarkson said: “Good news! I can finally confirm that I’m going to be spending the next year, in the rain, making a show about farming.

“This means people all over the world will be able to watch me using a thousand acres of the Cotswolds to make thousands of tons of beer, and bread, and vegetable oil, and lamb chops, and jumpers.”

Needless to say, the grand opening is likely to have been filmed for Amazon. For those who attended, it could be their chance to meet a star at a reasonably priced farm shop…  

See: where is Diddly Squat Farm?

Also see:

Jeremy Clarkson’s cars of the year 2019

See the Top Gear cars from the Nepal special at Beaulieu

50 years of the truck Jeremy Clarkson couldn’t kill

See the Top Gear cars from the Nepal special at Beaulieu

Top Gear Nepal cars on display during February half term

The Renault 4 and Peugeot 106 Rallye from the Top Gear Nepal special can be seen at Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear display in the February half term. Fresh from their hour of fame on BBC Two, with Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness behind the wheel, they’ll be on show from 15 to 23 February.

The small French firecrackers saw action and abuse in a journey across the Himalayas. They’ll be on display in as-returned condition. From missing bumpers, to a caking of Nepalese dust, they’re authentic victims of some classic Top Gear abuse, on the way from Kathmandu to the Forbidden City of Lo Manthang.

Top Gear Nepal cars on display during February half term

Abuse which courted controversy when the episode aired, especially over the televised torture of the 106 Rallye. This coveted hot hatch, that for some owners would never see a salty road, got torn to shreds. Arguments flew left and right. Some cried shame, while others congratulated the Top Gear trio on taking it on a proper adventure.

Chris Harris weighed in, clarifying that the car was a 160,000-miler. He also said the former owner was “totally relaxed” about how it was used.

Top Gear Nepal cars on display during February half term

“Anything but a collector’s item. Cars are for using and being involved in adventures” he concluded. He also clarified that the Renault 4 will “live to see another day”.

The general admission ticket to Beaulieu will get you entry to World of Top Gear, as well as the National Motor Museum, On Screen Cars, Palace House and the Secret Army Exhibition. There are plenty of hands-on activities for kids to enjoy in all of the above areas.

Top Gear moving to BBC One for the first time

Top Gear moves to BBC 1

Top Gear will be moving to BBC One from BBC Two for the first time. It’s in a bid to shore up the licence fee and to bring in a younger audience. The BBC hopes the move will build upon the success of the latest series. It’s not yet known if it will keep its Sunday air time.

Indeed, this is no desperate move to push a sinking ship. It’s currently bringing in the best viewing figures (4.3 million) since the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in 2015.

The real challenge is capturing younger audiences, given their captivation with online streaming services such as Netflix. The BBC is facing a battle with the government over funding and the licence fee. 

The eye is on the long term. The typical TV-watching audience is ageing out. Now, the younger streaming generations make up more and more of the audience it should be targeting. Indeed, culture secretary Nicky Morgan has suggested that the TV licence could be scrapped beyond 2027. 

Top Gear could be a strong weapon in the BBC’s arsenal, given that it’s among BBC Two’s top four most popular shows among 16 to 34 year-olds. Top Gear is also a saleable asset for the BBC, given that it’s made by the commercial wing, BBC Studios, which exports the show around the world.

“The time is right to move the world’s best motor show to the nation’s most popular channel and bring it to an even broader audience on BBC One,” said director of BBC content Charlotte Moore.

“Freddie, Paddy and Chris have revitalised the hit series with their escapades and banter; and we couldn’t have asked for a better response to their series so far and the impact it’s had with young audiences.”

Top Gear moves to BBC 1

What about BBC Two? The channel will be losing a Sunday night staple with the move. BBC2 controller Patrick Holland doesn’t sound worried, however, praising the BBC TV ecosystem: “From Peaky Blinders to Line of Duty and now Top Gear, BBC Two is a place where unique shows can evolve and thrive before moving to even broader audiences on BBC One, it’s a vital part of the BBC portfolio.”

Revealed: The new cars coming up on Top Gear

Top Gear season 28 trailer

Top Gear returns to TV on Sunday January 26, and there’s a new trailer to whet the appetites of the viewers. As you might expect, it’s riddled with some of the very latest, coolest metal (and carbon fibre). 

So, what cars can you expect to see in series 28? We’ve combed through the 76-second trailer, through every split-second jump cut, to dig them out.

They start with a record-setting all-electric racer: the Volkswagen ID-R. Then there are teaser shots of a Porsche Taycan and Ford Mustang. Flashes of McLaren Speedtail, Porsche Taycan and BMW M8 go by, before we cut to the Volkswagen going hell-for-leather around the Portimao circuit.

Top Gear season 28 trailer

After the ID.R, we cut to a very different racer: Subaru Impreza once driven by Colin McRae.

Then, a race between the McLaren Speedtail and an F35 fighter jet. Crikey…

Would it be a Top Gear trailer featuring Chris Harris if there weren’t skid shots? The Porsche Taycan, BMW M8 and Ariel Atom 4 all get out of shape. Then we see the new Porsche 911 put up against the Aston Martin Vantage on-track, with the help of Damon Hill.

Back to Dunsfold, the M8 is being pursued by a sliding Aston Martin DB11 and a Bentley Continental.

Blink and you’ll miss a flash of a sliding Renault Sport Megane Trophy R. And there we have it, (some of) the cars of Top Gear season 28.

Top Gear season 28 trailer

In alphabetical order, then:

  • Ariel Atom 4
  • Aston Martin DB11
  • Aston Martin Vantage
  • Bentley Continental GT
  • BMW M8
  • Ford Mustang
  • Porsche 911
  • Porsche Taycan
  • McLaren Speedtail
  • Renault Megane Trophy R
  • Volkswagen ID.R

Quite a roster. Tune in next Sunday to see more.

Sorry, you can’t have the Lego Top Gear rally car for Christmas

Lego Top Gear Rally Car

Lego is making its LA Auto Show debut with the launch of a new Top Gear rally car.

The Lego Technic App Controlled Top Gear Rally Car – to use its full and rather long name – is the first set launched in partnership by the two global brands. It costs £124.99.

But there’s bad news if you had visions of racing it around the living room on Christmas morning: the rally car doesn’t go on sale until 26 December.

Still, at least that means the skirting boards and the cat are safe for another day. Controlling this after one too many Christmas gins could be a challenge.

Lego Technic Top Gear Rally Car

The Top Gear rally car is controlled via the Lego Technic Control+ smartphone app and contains functions such as steering, multi-touch control and gyro control.

A total of 463 Lego elements have been used, including a large motor, an extra large motor and a Bluetooth controlled smart hub. Batteries (and the Stig) aren’t included.

Lego Technic sets are designed for more experienced builders – finishing the Top Gear car won’t be a five-minute job. Lego says it’s suitable for ages 9+, but we wonder how many mums and dads will disappear to the shed for a few hours on Boxing Day. 

Lego Top Gear Car

Jason Easy, head of licensing UK at BBC Studios, said: “It’s  exciting to have collaborated with Lego Technic on this and it’s a very natural fit for the Top Gear brand.  The Lego Technic Top Gear Rally Car is the result of several months hard work from the Lego and BBC Studios teams and we can’t wait to see it on the  shelves soon.”

Niels Henrik Horsted, marketing director for Lego Technic added: “We are really excited to finally reveal the app-controlled Lego Technic Top Gear Rally Car.

“The car offers a challenging build for ages 9+ who are into authentic play and intrigued about how things work. The Control+ app gives an extensive play experience with several different play modes and exciting challenges.”

Top Gear ‘reasonably-priced car’ is up for sale

Top Gear reasonably priced carOne of Top Gear’s ‘reasonably-priced’ cars is going up for sale, and you could get your hands on it – potentially for a reasonable price.

The 2013 Vauxhall Astra Tech Line was in service on the TV show between 2013 and 2015. Famous faces to have wrangled it around the famous Dunsfold circuit include Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Jackman and Kiefer Sutherland.

The Astra‘s two-year stint took place at the last iteration of Top Gear’s crescendo, before Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘fracas’ brought matters to a temporary halt. 

Top Gear reasonably priced car

The full list of celebrities who tried their hand at a quick lap is displayed on the Astra’s bonnet, and the car comes equipped as it was for track-duty.

Needless to say, the bucket seats and full rollcage aren’t options offered at Vauxhall dealers. Both were additions made for the safety of the celebrities as they tried for Top Gear glory.

Top Gear reasonably priced car

As for condition? It’s definitely had a hard life. It will have been looked after, though – despite all of Clarkson’s jokes about ‘the unique way the BBC is funded’.

If not a museum piece, it could be the perfect buy for a track-day novice wanting something basic to learn the ropes, and a great conversation-piece in the pit lane.

The auction via Collecting Cars isn’t online yet, but is ‘coming soon’ according to the company’s website.

The Astra isn’t the only bit of classic Top Gear fodder for sale either. Jeremy Clarkson’s specially-prepared rallycross BMW from Series 18 will be joining it.

Freddie Flintoff crashes jet-powered tricycle while filming Top Gear

Freddie Flintoff Top Gear

Top Gear presenter and cricket star Freddie Flintoff has crashed at more than 100mph while filming.

The accident occurred at Elvington Airfield – the same place Richard Hammond had a 288mph jet car crash 13 years ago.

While Hammond’s accident left him seriously injured and in a coma for two weeks, Flintoff is relatively unscathed. He told the Daily Mail I’m absolutely fine and was back filming today”.

“I go to great lengths to make sure I do well in Top Gear drag races, but on this occasion I went a few lengths too far. It will look more ridiculous than dangerous when you see it on TV.”

Freddie Flintoff Top Gear

A Top Gear spokesman reiterated that no injuries were sustained. He also confirmed that the entire film, including the mishap, would be shown on TV: “Fans will see for themselves when we show the sequence in full in the next series”.

Looking at the vehicle Freddie was piloting – a jet-powered tricycle that you lie on top of – it would be fair to call this a lucky escape.

Save for a race suit, gloves, boots and a helmet, Flintoff had virtually no crash protection.

Freddie Flintoff Top Gear

Freddie Flintoff and Paddie McGuinness joined Chris Harris for the previous series of Top Gear after the departure of Friends star Matt LeBlanc and motoring journalist Rory Reid.

The new line-up (pictured courtesy of Top Gear‘s Facebook page) received encouraging praise, after a rocky few years following the departure of Clarkson, Hammond and May. It’s not yet known when Series 28 of Top Gear will air on television.

Buy this Camaro V8 muscle car and meet its Top Gear owner

Chris Harris Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

You could buy the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 currently owned by Top Gear presenter Chris Harris. The V8 muscle car will be auctioned online by Collecting Cars.

Harris has owned the Camaro for just under two years, having acquired it in autumn 2017. Since then, he’s added more than 7,500 miles to its odometer, which now shows 7,962 miles. Refreshing to see the car has been used, then…

Hot laps with Chris Harris

Chris Harris Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

This is an auction with a difference, even for rare track-prepped muscle car. The winning bidder not only receives the keys to a Z/28, he or she also gets hot laps around a track with Chris Harris.

If you’re thinking that a bowtie-badged 7.0-litre coupe is an odd choice for a motoring journalist with a well-documented penchant for bewinged Porsches, you’re not wrong.

The Z/28 is a bit special, though; Collecting Cars reckons there are just five in the UK. Think of it as Chevy’s answer to the Porsche 911 GT3. It’s 130kg lighter than the next fastest Camaro and has ceramic brakes, track-focused ‘Cup 2’ tyres and race-spec suspension.

Chris Harris Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

That 7.0-litre LS7 all-alloy dry-sump V8 is a ripper, too, with 505hp and know-how from Corvette racing. The Z/28 is so hardcore that even air conditioning was optional. Now, that does sound like more of a ‘Chris Harris’ car.

The lucky buyer will be pleased to note that the Cup 2 tyres it currently wears are in reasonable health.

At the time of writing, bidding has started at £30,000 (around $37,000) with just over two weeks to go. If you fancy a slice of the very finest track-honed American muscle, there are nine others ‘watching’ the auction, so get ready to flex that credit card.

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Where to see the latest Top Gear challenge cars

Six new cars join the Top Gear display at Beaulieu

Cars from the current series of Top Gear are now on display at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu.

In a press release that describes Chris Harris as a ‘veteran’ – we’re sure @harrismonkey is chuffed with that – Beaulieu says that six cars have joined the World of Top Gear display.

So that’s the Triumph Spitfire, Subaru Brat and Nissan Leaf from the 24 Minutes of Le Mansfield, the Overtaker hearse, and the Austin Allegro and Matra Bagheera from the Borneo jungle.

The Allegro and Bagheera starred in the latest episode, with Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness tasked with buying rare but cheap classic cars. Upon their return to the UK, the cars were painted in rainbow colours, as a protest against Brunei’s stance on homosexuality.

Let the monkey see the nuts

The Overtaker on Top Gear

The bright blue Overtaker started life as a Daimer hearse before McGuinness set about creating the ultimate secondhand family car. The Overtaker took part in a series of events before Flintoff unceremoniously rolled it during an off-road challenge.

When it comes to crashing Top Gear cars, Flintoff has form. During the 24 Minutes of Le Mansfield, the former cricketer and king of the jungle crashed his Subaru Brat ‘hybrid’ into a market stall.

‘Veteran’ Chris Harris drove an electric Triumph Spitfire, while McGuiness took to the streets in a modified Nissan Leaf.

Let the crown see the jewels

New cars for World of Top Gear display

The World of Top Gear display has a number of former challenge vehicles, including the SsangYacht, Dampervan, Reliant Robin Space Shuttle and the indestructible Toyota Hilux.

Visitors to Beaulieu can view the Top Gear cars as part of their general admission ticket, with advance tickets costing £19.50 for adults and £9.50 for children. Under 5s go free. For more ticket information visit the Beaulieu website.

In 2017, we caught up with Chris Harris ahead of the relaunch of the World of Top Gear exhibition. You can watch the interview here:

Matt LeBlanc set to leave BBC Top Gear

Matt LeBlanc will leave Top Gear after next series

Matt LeBlanc set to leave BBC Top GearIt looked like BBC had finally found a presenting lineup that was working for Top Gear, but now it seems set to change again.

Matt LeBlanc has announced that the next series of Top Gear will be the last one to feature him, with BBC executives already claiming to have ‘great plans’ for his replacement come 2019.

The American actor stated that, although he has found working on the BBC Two show ‘great fun’, the extensive travelling and time commitment has taken away too much of the time with friends and family. 

LeBlanc joined the show in 2016, following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May in the wake of the steak fracas. LeBlanc was initially partnered with Chris Evans, and the US star was arguably the highlight of the challenging 23rd series of the hit show.

Matt LeBlanc set to leave BBC Top Gear

Once Chris Evans made his departure, LeBlanc was featured alongside Chris Harris and Rory Reid, with a fledgling ‘bromance’ that appeared to be recreating the glory days of Top Gear again. 

His time on Top Gear has not been without controversy, with his involvement in a segment which involved Ken Block’s modified ‘Hoonigan’ Mustang performing drifts near the Cenotaph in London. The tabloids were whipped into a frenzy, with the BBC forced to issue an apology.

The loss of LeBlanc from the show is notable in that he had proved himself to be more than just a successful comedic actor. As a man with a genuine passion for cars, and the bravery to own a scary Porsche 911 GT2 RS, LeBlanc was knowledgeable enough to move beyond simply being typecast as ‘Joey from Friends’ to viewers.

The fourth series of Top Gear to feature LeBlanc will air later this year, but the speculation about his replacement will undoubtedly begin much sooner.