Monday, 29 September 2008

Performance Cars at Earl's Court

One of the BBC's most popular programmes -and one of its most successful exports around the world - is 'Top Gear'.

It's come a long way from the days when it was a rather specialist but sober appraisal of the latest models in the world of motoring. The team - Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May - are among the most well known of BBC's presenters, and their 'boys' toys' approach to motoring - focusing on high performance cars, daredevil (or just plain wacky) exploits, and all-round entertainment has become hugely popular. (There's a 5-year waiting list to appear in the audience).

The programme (and Clarkson, especially) trades on an irreverent political incorrectness, which makes the programme loathed and loved in equal measure - depending on where you stand on green issues and whether you think using 'girly' or 'gay' is an appropriate adjective in the 21st Century. Less controversially, and a good indication of the entertainment factor, is the long line-up of guests also waiting to appear, to test their skills driving a saloon car around a racing circuit at high speed - recording their performance against other guests in a league table.

Anyway, for those for whom a weekly fix is not enough, and who can't wait 5 years for a ticket, the Top Gear team will be appearing at the forthcoming 'MPH' (ie miles per hour) performance car event at Earl's Court between 30th October and 2nd November. The rest of the show - subtitled the Prestige and Performance Motor Show - concentrates on high performance cars, including rare one-off models . Think Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, Spyker and Aston Martin.

There are also sections featuring the lastest add-on gadgets, classic sports cars and 'Tuning and Styling', if you fancy yourself as a boy racer but can't quite afford a Maserati. (It'll be interesting to see if the credit crunch will impact on sales - but perhaps that'll just encourage more window shopping?)

But I'm not sure how Clarkson et al would view a household that doesn't even own a car...

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