Chris Harris, as you ability know, is a host on a little appearance about cars on BBC America alleged Top Gear. And with the show’s newest division set to premiere this weekend, we sat bottomward with him to babble parking tickets, blaze and his role on the bigger car appearance in the world.
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You can bolt the aboriginal adventure of the new division this Saturday, March 3 at 10:30/9:30c on BBC America. And on the abutting day, Sunday, Top Gear will resume its accepted time aperture with its additional episode, set to air 8/7c.
(Note: this chat has been edited for grammar, brevity and breeze purposes.)
Kristen: It’s nice talking to you again, the absolute Jalopnik aggregation says hi.
Chris: That’s good. The aftermost time I saw you I was in a Polish bar… was it Polish or Romanian? I don’t remember.
Kristen: I anticipate it was Ukrainian. All of the Jalopnik blessed hours appear there, abnormally enough. Anyway, afore we get into the austere stuff, I told my coworkers that I’d be speaking with you today and a few of them had questions of their own.
Raphael Orlove wants to apperceive about that admission that you paid. He wants to apperceive what it was like to accord up achievement and lose your will over advantageous a motorcycle ticket.
Chris: Activity is about allotment battles, isn’t it? I’ve called a few battles that others wouldn’t choose. I chose a action on your website a few years ago about a car architect from Italy.
Some wouldn’t accept called that one. But this one, I looked at it and thought, “Well, I’ll go to court, I’ll lose. I could accept dressed up in asinine clothes and fabricated a scene. But actually, I’ll aloof pay it.” And as addition wisely said on Twitter, “Pay the cloister costs and use the money to buy a new, abate achievement bike.” Which is what I did.
Kristen: Mike Ballaban wants to apperceive what Joey from Friends smells like.
Chris: What he smells like?
Chris: Well, he smells beginning as a daisy and he’s a abundant animal being.
Kristen: But, like, is that aloof in his around or accept you actually ashore your face in there and taken a acceptable whiff?
Chris: Now, you apperceive I adulation you Jalopnik lot, but you’re activity to get me in agitation with the BBC so I’m abrogation my account here. You booty this statement, Kristen: Matt LeBlanc is a abundant animal being.
Kristen: I already had my suspicions that he smelled good, but I aloof capital acceptance from addition who’d formed with him.
Chris: I, on the added hand, am not a great-smelling animal being.
Kristen: Mike Ballaban additionally wants to apperceive why Rory Reid blew him off while he was in the UK on vacation.
Chris: No, I apperceive Rory Reid loves Mike Ballaban he’d appetite to see him as anon as possible.
Kristen: That makes me happy, and I’m abiding that will accomplish Ballaban happy, too.
Alright, so! Top Gear. Obviously, from an outsider’s perspective, filming the appearance seems like a dream. But I apperceive it’s not consistently like that. What’s the best annoying behind-the-scenes aspect of Top Gear?
Chris: It takes a continued time to blur it. My accomplishments is YouTube area you aloof about-face up with a camera, blur whatever you’re accomplishing and go home. And then, a day later, it’s on the internet. Top Gear is a big production, it takes a continued time to blur it and… you charge to accept a lot of backbone aback you aloof appetite to get it done. I’m crumbling so much, though… I assurance the team. Aback they say, “Do this,” added generally than not, it looks better.
Kristen: Can you acquaint me a little added about that Aerial A110 fire?
Chris: Yeah, the car is fantastic. I don’t anticipate you’re gonna get it yet, admitting there are bodies who appetite to accompany it to the U.S. It’s a abundant little sports car. Imagine that it’s center amid a Lotus Exige and a Cayman. It’s got that proper, failing sports car feel to it that the Cayman will never accept to it because it’s aloof too big.
So we’re accepting a abundant time in it. I’m with Eddie Jordan and we’re on abstracted aerial roads, the Monte Carlo Assemblage Stage. And afresh out of nowhere, the ability cuts… anon rolls to a arrest quickly, because we were activity uphill.
Top Gear presenters Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan had to canal an Aerial A110 on Monday morning…
And I thought, “Well, we’ll aloof stop actuality and radio the tracking guy advanced of us.” I looked abaft me and there was a bit of smoke. So I opened the aperture and what I didn’t apperceive was that a bit of ammunition advancing out from beneath it, which was on fire. And the wind was alarming it beneath the car on my side, left-hand drive. Aback I got out there were bonfire activity up the door. But I was cutting a fireproof suit, gloves. So aback the bonfire went up my arm I was fine. If I had been cutting a polyester jumper, things wouldn’t accept been fine.
Kristen: Or a T-shirt.
Chris: Yeah, or a T-shirt. Afresh my bearded accoutrements would accept gone up, that would accept been nice.
Kristen: How continued did it booty for it to bake bottomward completely?
Chris: Not long, beneath than 10 minutes. It was really, actually quick. The amazing affair was the calefaction was so acute that the aluminum anatomy melted. There was aloof aqueous aluminum advancing out, like a river of it.
Kristen: How did Aerial booty that bit of news?
Chris: They were massively professional. They had no application for the car itself, they capital to accomplish abiding we were accept and capital to bound move to the column mortem and accept what went wrong. It’s a abundant car. The aftermost affair I appetite is for that adventure to someway affect the success of that car. On the one hand, Top Gear should address on actuality like that. On the other, a bit of me didn’t appetite to because I appetite to assure that car because it’s actually wonderful.
Kristen: What were you accomplishing with it up until that point?
Chris: We were on a assemblage stage, I can’t say abundant added than that. The actuality that we were cutting chase apparel and on a assemblage date should accord you an abstraction of what we were doing.
Kristen: Is that blaze activity to appearance up in the final cut of the episode?
Chris: Um. There ability be a few flames, yes. Aback you see the flames, you will understand.
Kristen: I didn’t get a adventitious to ask you this aback the account aboriginal broke, but what was activity through your arch aback you aboriginal begin out that you’d gotten the allotment of a presenter on the world’s bigger car show? Did you accept any concerns?
Chris: Aboriginal of all, I acquainted like an astronomic actor because I’d accounting a adventure on Jalopnik, which is a acclaimed automotive website in North America that you ability be accustomed with…
Kristen: Never heard of it.
Chris: Well, I wrote an commodity on Jalopnik adage I wouldn’t do it. So, I’m a hypocrite, to alpha with, by accomplishing it. And I anticipate I went on the Joe Rogan podcast, adage I wouldn’t do it as well. But, you accept to acknowledgment to your close 17-year-old. And my close 17-year-old said, “You’ve been offered this, you can’t say no. You accept to accord it a go.” And, I think, already you’ve absitively to accord it a go, you don’t anticipate about it again.
The third bigger also-ran in this sad adventure of Top Gear is the added car media, and the business that…
Now, I get affluence of letters from bodies cogent me they adulation what we’re doing, but I additionally get letters from bodies adage they abhorrence me because I’m not one of the three amigos and I shouldn’t be on Top Gear. But that’s aloof life, isn’t it?
I anticipate it was daunting, but already you adjudge to do it, you don’t anguish about it, you aloof get on with it. And it’s the best job in the world. I like cars, I like presenting, I like TV shows about cars. Why wouldn’t I adulation accomplishing this? I get an amazing budget, I get to assignment with bodies I like, with some of the best accomplished assembly aggregation on the planet. What is not to like?
It’s daunting, but everything’s daunting. I acquisition it alarming to assignment in a block boutique because I couldn’t assignment out what the cakes were.
Kristen: Were there aspects of the old appearance that you didn’t like and you’re aggravating to actual in your estimation of it now?
Chris: It’s not a catechism of like or dislike. It’s a catechism of accepting our own direction. There’s no point in us accomplishing what they did before, because they did it brilliantly. And we’ll aloof attending like a poor imitation.
So, to accord you an example, we’ve got a appearance advancing up area Matt and I go and attending for Bigfoot application a array of arresting off-road toys. Now, that wouldn’t accept happened in the antecedent bearing of Top Gear. It’s a altered feel, a new direction. It’s establishing what we appetite to do, what’s our mission account as Top Gear.
And we’ve array of attempt this division area we’ve eulogized and acclaimed the Citroën 2CV. I anticipate old Top Gear would accept aloof ridiculed the 2CV and the bodies who drive it. But we acclaimed it, its feats of engineering and how it’s a cultural phenomenon. It’s aloof a actually air-conditioned car that’s absorbing to drive.
So those are the key differences. I anticipate we’re apparently a kinder Top Gear. I anticipate the broader car association is article we like and appetite to embrace. So, yeah, we’re a bit different.
The changes that Harris brought up—they’re palpable. As he already wrote for us, Top Gear was never aloof for the awful abstruse automotive enthusiast. It absolved that band amid actuality advisory and absorbing for a ample audience, which, as it angry out, was allotment of the blueprint that helped it booty off in the aboriginal place. It seems like the new aggregation is alive to aggrandize that abstraction alike more.
We’ll be watching the aboriginal two episodes of the new division this weekend. And on Monday, we’ll accept added on the appearance for you. Check aback with us then.
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