Saturday 10 December 2016

'Top Gear' stages battle of the Rolls against 'beautiful Irish backdrop'

Majella O'Sullivan and Graham Clifford

Published 18/04/2016 | 02:30

Having crashed hen parties, posed with GAA players, supped pints of the black stuff and raced along the Wild Atlantic Way, 'Top Gear' duo Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc have rolled out of town.

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The crew of the popular BBC show chose the picturesque setting of the Kingdom of Kerry to pit a modern Rolls Royce Dawn against the classic Rolls Royce Corniche.

When they weren't road-testing the two vehicles, the two gents made sure to swing by some of the local pubs for a pint or two.

Le Blanc, who shot to fame in hit sitcom 'Friends', sampled his first Guinness, which he described as "delicious" - and said it was quickly followed by a second, which "wasn't too bad either".

Co-presenter Evans, who was driving the 1976 Rolls Royce Corniche, was clearly impressed by the landscape.

"We had to come film in Ireland," he said.

Chris Evans driving the 1976 Rolls Royce Corniche. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Chris Evans driving the 1976 Rolls Royce Corniche. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Left, fans pose with Matt Le Blanc at Gallarus GAA pitch. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Chris Evans during filming of the ‘Top Gear’ episode in Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh

"We had the Rolls Royce Dawn and one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world, so that's why we came."

Asked if he would like to come back, he replied: "You know, we might just stay. It's easier."

Evans described one of the routes he sped along as "the best road" he ever had the pleasure of driving on.

The 'Top Gear' crew visited Ladies View, Killarney town, Kenmare, Gallarus GAA pitch and Dingle town.

The motoring show is considered to be the most widely watched factual television programme in the world, with a global viewership of 350 million.

The last ever 'Top Gear' to feature the controversial Jeremy Clarkson was watched by 5.3 million viewers, while the programme's audience topped seven million for an episode in 2007. The new series will begin next month on BBC Two.

"As Chris says, we're only babysitting 'Top Gear'," said Le Blanc, adding "You know everyone has their own memories about a car, the first time they got their licence or the first time they took a ride with their girl.

"'Top Gear' is such a monstrous entity in its own right, but I'm enjoying every minute of it so far. How could I not?"

Last month the show's producers were criticised for filming a scene near the Cenotaph war memorial in London's Whitehall.

Co-host Chris Evans apologised for the stunt, and said he and the crew were "mortified".

Irish Independent

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