March 26, 2015 - 4:32 PM
OKANAGAN – Residents of the Okanagan will see some familiar scenery in a recently aired episode of the hit BBC television series "Top Gear."
In a rare review of two North America’s truck companies, stars James May and Jeremy Clarkson race each other across B.C. in a Ford F150 VelociRaptor and a Chevy Silverado 2500HD. Their goal is to rescue Richard Hammond who is testing out a watch with a built in emergency locater beacon in the Rocky Mountains. The loser has to drive the 15 hours back to Vancouver with Hammond.
“Absolutely gorgeous scenery,” May says during his drive through the Southern Interior. “I’m having a lovely time looking at this.”
During the rescue mission, which includes footage of the trucks crossing icy rivers and snow covered logging roads, both get stuck before submitting to the agony of putting on chains — a concept seemingly lost on the boys from Britain.
“For 12 years we’ve looked down our noses at big American pickup trucks but having spent quite a few days in them we ended up completely besotted,” May says.
“This is awesome for the region as the show has such a huge worldwide audience,” film commissioner Jon Summerland said in a media release. “It is great exposure for our area and for producers to see the kind of scenery and locations we offer.”
"Top Gear" first aired in 1977 and changed to their current quirky format in a re-launch in 2002. The program draws an estimated 350 million viewers each week and is shown in 170 countries.
In a side note, the BBC decided Wednesday, March 25, not to renew the contract of "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson after a fracas with his producer, ending his connection to the program.
The show will go on — the BBC said it would renew "Top Gear" for 2016. But it did not say whether co-hosts May and Hammond would be asked to return.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015