The Top Gear Winter Olympics 2006

I know nothing about cars. Driving fast scares me. But I still enjoy the British car show Top Gear. The hosts clearly enjoy driving, and they don't hold back in their commentary. ("This was the first seven-seat 4×4 designed by someone who had children, not by an engineer who read about them in a book.") Last week was their Winter Olympics Episode, and it did not disappoint. They drove a biathlon (with Jeremy of course cheating unabashedly). They raced a Jaguar against a speed skater. Plenty of other events. But the highlight was sending a Mini down the ski jump. Watch it. (Warning: One-hour video.)

Comments (28)
  1. Alan De Smet says:

    For those interested, the actual Mini ski jump occurs at the 56:00 mark in the video

  2. A regular viewer says:

    If there is really a job that I would give up smoking for, it would be Clarkson’s.

  3. Spike says:

    Raymond, you ought to know that Jeremy Clarkson is not well liked in the UK cycling community.  Comments to the effect of "If any cyclist gets in my way I will run him over" haven’t helped his image here.

  4. Richard Hammond says:

    Oh, come on. It’s part of Clarkson’s image to be controversial. I’m a cyclist and I don’t drive but I think Top Gear and its presenters are a great laugh.

    Btw, I’m glad to see that our American friends enjoy it too.

  5. Michael J. says:

    About half a year ago they started broadcasting Top Gear in U.S. on Discovery Channel. But after several episodes they removed the show from the timetable replacing it with stupid myth busters. I don’t know why. Either because Top Gear guys discuss cars not available in U.S., or because they are not as PC as TV hosts are supposed to be. A pity for me. This is a great show. But I hate them for trying to kill Toyota pickup, watching this was like watching a real murder.

  6. JamesW says:

    Good to hear that you appreciate Top Gear. We get it on BBC World out here in India. Sadly it is a hobbled version of the show. The international version gets stripped of most of the good bits – mainly Clarkson being rude about foreign types. This results in a half hour show that is a poor shadow of the real deal.

    Luckily BitTorrent (or Google Video) provide the genuine goods, assuming infringing the BBC’s copyright doesn’t bother you too much. It seems that the BBC are a bit more relaxed when it comes to this sort of thing than various other groups – they as good as expect you to download Doctor Who episodes.

    Any more links to vidz, tunez, romz or warez for your loyal readers? ;)

  7. Anonymous Coward says:

    They also do "educational" stuff.  There was one show where JC was driving a truck (big rig in US speak) and showed how annoying it was when people pulled in front of you.  Another time they had various distance markers, made of people cutouts and people telling them braking distances.  Needless to say, the cutouts bought it.

    As a Brit living in California, it is really great to be able to see these shows!

  8. Spike says:

    Richard: yeah, you’re right – he is funny much of the time.  I don’t often watch the programme but when I do I find myself torn: the devil on my left shoulder is rolling around crying "ha ha!" while the angel on my right is saying "that’s not very eco, though, is it?" :-)

    But I do wonder about all the other viewers: when they’re overtaking me on my bike and looking for ideas, will they appreciate that he’s just being ironic?

    Anyway, just thought that Raymond should be aware of the whole story, given that he’s a keen cyclist.

  9. Richard "The Hamster" Hammond says:

    Spike: Fair enough. I know what you mean about being torn etc.

  10. CarlosY says:

    Top Gear is a greatly entertaining show. If you haven’t already, you should check out the "Stuck in Paris" episode. 3 super cars, Ferrari F430, Pagani Zonda F, and Ford GT stuck at the exit of a parking lot; it was hilarious.

  11. Legolas says:

    Good to see you get to enjoy Top Gear as well, I can watch it as we get the BBC here in Belgium (well, BBC1 and 2 only, alas), and I wouldn’t want to miss it!

  12. Not today says:

    Legolas – you can probably get the other BBC channels, and ITV, Channel 4, and 5, via satellite of you get a dish (no monthly charge), as they transmit on Astra which I’m sure covers Belgium – I’m further south and can get them.

  13. Orlphar says:

    I love Top Gear, and have spent hours going through the ones they’ve got on Google Video.  Thanks for pointing this one out, as I probably wouldn’t have seen it for a while (until the next time I check Google Video for new ones).

    This one here is my favourite.  Richard Hammond (the one building the snow bank in the one Raymond linked) gets hypnotized and first forgets how to drive a car, and then there’s another bit at the end in the studio, where he thinks a pedal car is his new Porsche 911 Turbo.

    This show is brilliant, though, even more so because I’m one of the few people here who loves exotic cars, it seems.

    The Aigo (European Echo) football (European Soccer) one is good, though if you watched the ice hockey one, it’s much of the same, just on grass instead of ice (still some crashes, though).

  14. Brent Newbury says:

    I almost thought Richard Hammond from Top Gear posted a comment! Don’t worry Microsoft Hammond, you’re still just as important! :D

    You should see the episode where Clarkson races a Bugatti Veron against a small charter plane. That was a good episode.

  15. Marcel says:

    That was hilarious, thanks for the tip.

    I also thought it was a nice touch that almost everybody in the credits was called "Björn" :-)

  16. Matt Davey says:

    Top Gear is one of the better car programmes on TV.  The races Clarkson has with the other two presenters are always a laugh – like the one to Oslo, or the Bugatti from Italy.

  17. raduking says:

    Top Gear is the best car show ever!

    I love it!

  18. Merit says:

    Top Gear isn’t running on Discovery anymore because they are in the process of creating an American version of the show, with a US studio, and new hosts.

    It will be interesting to see how it comes out, I’m not very optimistic that they’ll have any luck recreating the humor of the British version but at least they’ll give car prices in USD :)

  19. raduking says:

    Why a U.S. version ? Americans have no ideea how to build cars…

  20. monk.e.boy says:

    If you like Top Gear, you’d like Have I Got News For You.

    Both are very funny.

    Clarkson also writes books which are good light fluffy reads. Just like his TV shows.


  21. AndyB says:

    FYI. Clarkson also writes a piece in the Sunday Times ( which has a good long runup to sayng something about he car he’s supposed to be reviewing. I think you’d like this too Raymond.

  22. Phill says:

    Top Gear is a fantastic program that is really made by the quality of the presenters and the budget that the popularity of the show affords it. One of my favourite Jeremy Clarkson quotes (not verbatim): "Bus lanes are stupid things and we should get rid of them – why should poor people get to work quicker than me?". Also his comments on American cars – "Americans don’t know how to do luxury cars. American car manufacturers’ idea of luxury is making something big"

  23. Merit says:

    Raduking, I think that’s precisely the point.  They can’t have Clarkson on there every week telling us how much our cars suck :)

    otoh, he does own a Ford GT…

  24. tarambuka says:

    …which broke down at least 5 times, for anyone who’ve followed last seasons :D

  25. JRJ says:

    I love this program of Top Gear, they are excellent. And let me say so, the British are better than the americans in this subject. I hate american cars, they are all rubbish.

    I liked a lot the episode where Jeremy tooked the Bugatti Veyron to compite with the other two in an airplane. Other good episodes are of the Mercedes SLR in Africa, the Koenigsegg CC, the Bentley Flying Spur in the United Emirates and a lot more. To resume, all the Top Gear episodes are awesome.

  26. Michael J. says:


    Top Gear isn’t running on Discovery anymore because they are in the process of creating an American version of the show, with a US studio, and new hosts.

    It will be interesting to see how it comes out, I’m not very optimistic that they’ll have any luck recreating the humor of the British version but at least they’ll give car prices in USD :)


    It will suck like "Nine Months" sucks compared to original "Neuf Mois". I don’t need new hosts, I don’t need US specifics, and I just love how Brits speak. Don’t even get started on so-non-PC but oh-so-British jokes. Bollocks.

  27. ßãßßL3§ says:

    Bloody yanks stealing our shows. shame on them.

    ps: i love clarkson

  28. Daniel Webb says:

    Top Gear won’t appear on commercial TV because it upsets too many (automobile) advertisers

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