Chris Harris, 45, Freddie Flintoff, 42, and Paddy McGuinness, 47, are living the dream – driving fast cars and messing around doing some of the craziest stunts we’ve seen on TV. Ahead of Top Gear series 29 that hits our screens on Sunday, self-confessed car geek Harris reflected on his filming highlights and the “sketchiest” act of the season.
The whole thing was sketchy as hell — but that’s what Top Gear is all about
In a recent interview, the trio sat down and discussed what elements stood out to them, with Chris noting he thoroughly enjoyed a very memorable moment that was not only terrifying but also “friendship-defining”.
“I got to drive some great cars: as a car geek, being reacquainted with the Ford Focus RS1 made me smile, and driving a Ferrari F40 — the greatest road car ever produced — made me tingle,” he smiled.
“But doing the Wall of Death with my two buddies was a stand-out.”
The Wall of Death (also known as a motordrome, silodrome or Well of Death) is a carnival-type sideshow featuring a barrel-shaped wooden cylinder where drivers travel around the area vertically.
Chris Harris recalls move that was ‘sketchy as hell’ in new series
Chris Harris revealed the Wall of Death was his biggest highlight of upcoming series 29
The boys tackled the hair-raising attempt on a structure built inside Alexandra Palace.
Even the thought is terrifying, but Chris pointed out that’s what Top Gear is all about.
“It was full on, classic Top Gear!” he exclaimed.
“The health and safety guys had been all over it but there were still a lot of unanswered questions…”
The Top Gear presenters got to try their hand at a Wall of Death
The hair-raising challenge took place inside Alexandra Palace
He continued: “The whole thing was sketchy as hell — but that’s what Top Gear is all about.
“It was great television but, on a personal level, it was friendship-defining as well,” he told Radio Times.
Paddy managed to navigate a Porsche Cayman around the vertical runway, and even he was surprised that he managed to do it successfully.
“I never dreamt any of us would get up there,” he said.
“It goes against everything you’re ever taught or think about doing.”
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Nevertheless, the feeling was indescribable as he added: “The adrenaline was something else.”
It comes after the presenters revealed the new series will be changing ever so slightly due to coronavirus, which means there will be no zany stunts set abroad in exotic locations.
But the trio are more than confident Britain will match the surprise and wonder.
Freddie added: “Our own country is beautiful. We sometimes forget that, so it was nice to be rooted here.
“Bizarrely, in some ways lockdown created more opportunities as we got to go to venues we would never get access to otherwise. So I don’t think we get any less from this series, it was just different.”
Viewers can expect a race around an empty theme park Alton Towers, the Wall of Death stunt which we now know will be a real adrenaline rush, and a car slalom down a ski run in Cyprus, which was recorded just before lockdown.
The trio’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.
Top Gear returns on Sunday October 4 at 8pm on BBC One.