Show success is solely down to camaraderie of the hosts

I have to say I thought The Grand Tour, or Big Budget Top Gear as it turned out to be, was a triumph.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 24th November 2016, 6:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:40 am
Clarkson, Hammond and May
Clarkson, Hammond and May

After watching Chris Evans ruin Top Gear, I decided I would invest in Amazon Prime and catch up with my old mates Clarkson, Hammond and May.

The budget for this show is something crazy like £150m and it showed with the opening titles as Jeremy handed in his BBC pass at a rain-soaked Broadcasting House.

He jumped on a British Airways Airbus A380 to Los Angeles, hired an American muscle car and then drove to the salt lakes.

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Hammond and May joined him on the freeway and they were greeted by hundreds of fans at their mobile set in the desert. A classic opening!

The show had all those wonderful elements that made their version of Top Gear such a success.

This is solely down to the camaraderie between the hosts.

They are mates who, like all mates, have banter, squabbles and disagreements.

They drive each other to distraction but, at the end of the day, love each other’s company.

That’s the thing Chris Evans couldn’t bring to Top Gear.

I just got the feeling he was rubbing his wealth in our faces and that he was broadcasting to his chums.

With Clarkson and co, it feels like they are like naughty schoolboys who cannot believe their luck, being allowed to drive these cars all over the world for the rest of us.

But for all the glitz of the wonderful cinematography, exotic locations and the most amazing cars, you still see bad teeth, beer bellies, messy hair and a goatee beard, plus clothes from M&S and Fat Face.

It could be me and my mates!

To be honest, I’m not surprised Amazon can afford to pay for all of this.

I bought Amazon Prime for access to the show, then realised my TV didn’t have the right ‘app’ to view it.

So I spent more money on a ‘stick’ that goes into the back of the telly.

It was worth it, but I’m now skint!


After our son Freddie had the works for his christening, when we hired one of our favourite restaurants and invited many friends and family, we decided to make daughter Holly’s christening a smaller affair.

This time the budget dictated tea and cake back at ours.

Poor old Holly, she’s the secondhand baby. Most of her clothes are hand-me-downs from my wife Sarah’s sister and her friends.

But this is the perfect way to do it. Sarah’s brother has just had his first, a baby girl. She will get all of Holly’s clothes very soon.

Holly even wore the same dress her mum was christened in. But she looked adorable and behaved impeccably – unlike her big brother, who tried to escape through my legs at the altar!


Storm Angus brought disruption, damage and disillusionment for some.

A friend of mine was returning to Portsmouth after a day in London with his son, who was playing ice hockey. They were due to catch the midnight car ferry back to the island.

With winds blowing a severe gale force nine from the east, conditions in the Solent were atrocious with large Channel swells meaning the captain of the Wightlink ferry decided not to sail.

People needed to find beds for the night and virtually every hotel in the city was fully booked.

The fourth hotel my friend found had just one room left.

Normally, it would be £49, but that night the price was £150.