On Wednesday, Top Gear Live fired into life with a pre-event media launch held just hours before the first of many New Zealand performances at ASB Showgrounds over the 12th — 15th of February. As a teaser to the event, we were shown a couple of the acts from the show, additionally to being led about the display of uber-expensive cars and given the chance to take photos with the Top Gear Live team.
But enough from us, here’s some thoughts from the boys running the show (Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and Greg Murphy) about the NZ tour.
Richard, how do you feel about being in New Zealand?
RH: Very excited to be here. I’ve never been to New Zealand before, but it is great to come to a place where people really seem to get what we’re about.
Jeremy, you’ve said that New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world. Is this true?
JC: I have been here a few times before and have extremely good memories of it. That is everything; the people, the place, the food, the scenery, the wine, the place — I really love it here. A few too many Nissan Cedrics, but that’s about the only drawback.
Do you say that in every country you visit?
JC: I promise you that I do not say ‘this is the best country in the world’ in every country in the world or I would have to say it in Australia as well, and that simply is not possible. No, New Zealand and Iceland really are my two favourite countries in the world — because I like countries that are based on volcanoes.
I understand you’ve been on Waiheke Island?
JC: Waiheke Island was fantastic — right up ‘til the moment a bee carrying a knife and fork and a napkin attacked my arm and now a man pretending to be a doctor has put me on steroids and I’m going to be Governor of California in the morning.
Does that mean you’re going to be unable to perform?
JC: No, I’m just going to be performing with an Austrian accent and I’m going to say ‘get owwwt’ to him.
Greg, what are you expecting from being part of Top Gear Live?
GM: Just to enjoy myself and learn such amazing witty comments from two such well travelled gentlemen.
Has it been a good ride so far?
GM: I’m trying to keep up — I’ve got to play car football and try to successfully beat Richard’s team; England. Being that we are a rugby nation, I’m slightly concerned about our prospects there.
RH: So I’ll be playing soccer against a rugby playing nation — am I going to get killed???
Greg, are you having to teach the others (Jeremy and Richard) anything about driving?
GM: I’m not sure we’ve got enough time for that to be honest. But if they watch closely I think they’ll pick up a few bits and pieces.
Can you understand why so many kiwis like these two so much, to have bought so many tickets?
GM: Top Gear is a massive show here. People get their kind of humour down here for sure.
So Greg, are you frightened of the Stig?
GM: Yes! Well, he’s certainly a daunting figure — there are a lot of questions to be asked about the Stig.
Are you New Zealand’s greatest ever driver?
GM: Ahhh, hmmm — I’m the wrong person to ask¦ Ask a Ford driver.
JC: Maybe the Stig is New Zealand’s greatest driver. It is possibly that he is New Zealish?
RH: He could be — a lot of people think he is — in these parts.
GM: It is not me — I’m going to prove that it is not me though — in the show tomorrow.
Does it feel like you’re a rock band at the moment?
RH: Yes it does, it feels exactly like a world rock tour; if you were to take away any discernable talent, the looks, the money, the glamour, the fan base, the sense of purpose, those few things aside, it feels like that.
Jeremy, why did you go on a world tour?
JC: Because I wanted to know what it would be like to be a rock star.
Do you know now?
JC: Yes, fantastic, the best bit was having a girl throwing contest on Waiheke Island, and I won. I threw my girl almost the length of the pool.
Have there been some terrible antics?
JC: No, not yet, but as we come to the end of the tour, as we leave New Zealand we’ll start to crank up the rock star bit.
RH: I like the rock star question- if the opportunity comes, you’ve just GOT to do it. Who wouldn’t?
JC: But we do always brush our teeth before bed and get an early night — I’ve had four different types of orangeade this trip, and once I stayed up til midnight, and stuff like that — it’s been mental.
Have you boys got the best job in the world?
JC: No, because somebody is Angelina Jolie’s gynaecologist.
RH: That really is a job though. That’s a Monday morning you’d look forward to, isn’t it?
Well, do you have the second best job in the world then?
RH: Job? Are we working? I don’t know why everyone thinks we’ve got a job. We go and drive other people’s cars — quite badly.
JC: We get middle aged. We fall over. We catch fire. We drown. Everything we do goes wrong. We are ambitious, but an eternal disappointment to ourselves, our nations and our mothers¦. on a daily basis.
Does each country treat you differently?
JC: I’m not making this up. I really, really like coming to New Zealand. I’ve been like a little boy all around the rest of the world; Birmingham, Ireland, Jo’Burg — because I knew that soon I would be in New Zealand, sipping wine on this lovely terrace.