For all their head-scratching stunts and irreverent attempts at humor, one would think that the hosts of Top Gear were as impervious to bad mojo as any three people we know.
Turns out, they’re human after all.
James May, one-third of the lovable triumvirate, was knocked unconscious while filming the show’s Christmas special in Syria. The accident occurred when May was helping out his co-host, Jeremy Clarkson pull out his car from a ditch. As bad luck would have it, May ended up falling into the ditch and hitting his head on a rock in the process.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the 47-year old May was rushed to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe concussion and given stitches for a nasty gash on his head. To his credit, May was still in a light mood after the entire ordeal, joking that he was only given a head scan because "the Syrians were just excited to be able to use their new scanner."
May’s episode isn’t the first time any of the three have been involved an accident. Back in 2006, co-host Richard Hammond suffered a more serious and dangerous accident when the dragster he was driving overturned at 300 mph. Hammond ended up in a coma and nearly lost his life in the process.
At the end of the day, we’re just glad to see James May still have his wits together, albeit a little scrambled in the process. Here’s to hoping for a full recovery, buddy!
The year 2010 is coming to a close in a few weeks and we are still hearing news about Top Gear’s Stig. Yeah, talk about a story dragging longer than any of us expected.
The latest twist in the ongoing drama involves a certain former member of Top Gear who now plies his craft on a competing show, but will be returning to Top Gear on a temporary basis to serve as the show’s Stig. We’ve gotten word that Fifth Gear’s affable old-timer, Tiff Needell, will be returning to Top Gear as the Stig after a nine-year absence.
For those who didn’t follow the show back in its pre-Clarkson days, Needell was a co-presenter on the show from 1987 up to 2001 when the show was canceled. Since the show returned it has become a worldwide phenomenon, but the whole controversial ‘StigGate,’ has left them struggling to recover. This is why they have reached out to an old friend to fill in some of the voids left behind by the Stig catastrophe. Needell’s task was to teach and train Danny Boyle, the director of the award-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, how to drive the Top Gear test track for his appearance on Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car.
Danny said: “The Stig has gone of course so they have this other guy Tiff Needell who used to front the original Top Gear. He was a terrific teacher, no nonsense. It was good.”
According to a Top Gear spokesman, Tiff will not be donning the white tracksuit and helmet permanently, but will only be around until Top Gear finds a permanent Stig through its "Stig Farm".
Top Gear wasted little time in their search for the new Stig, heading back to the supposedly “top secret” farm they own where they breed hundreds of Stigs to look for a suitable replacement to the last incarnation who thought that writing his own memoir would make him more famous than his already cool gig as the show’s resident test driver.
The process of finding the right Stig turned out to be a laborious endeavor as a number of Stigs proved to be failed breeds with some being a little too violent, whereas others found talents that are completely unrelated to the automotive industry. Apparently, one Stig even thought of becoming the next great literary author – nice potshot, Top Gear.
Fortunately, out of all the misfits and cast-offs, one Stig was wired to the exact requirements Top Gear was looking for. With nothing but setting fast laps on his mind, this Stig was the one. So, from a farm that breeds Stigs of varying shapes, colors, and sizes, the new Stig has finally emerged, ready, willing, and ever so able to fill in the shoes of the departed version.
Check out the video after the jump to see how the whole Stig-picking process came to fruition.