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Summary

For 13 years, 22 series and 175 shows, Richard Porter was script editor of Top Gear, from the first faltering pilot episode in 2002 until the very last show presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in 2015.

Along the way they destroyed cars, sparked diplomatic incidents, set fire to caravans, almost killed one of the presenters, and somehow transformed Top Gear from a shabby BBC Two motoring show into an Emmy-winning, record-breaking, planet-straddling behemoth.

And on That Bombshell tells stories from behind the scenes of one of the world's most successful television programmes, taking in driving monkeys, broken bones, flying cars, angry rednecks and Jeremy Clarkson's secret nickname.

Richard Porter provides a unique insight into how the programmes were made, revealing behind-the-scenes disasters more comical than anything seen on screen and explaining what it was like to work inside the self-professed 'poky motoring show' that accidentally became a global phenomenon.

Read by Ben Elliot and with an introduction read by the author.

©2015 Richard Porter (P)2015 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but it feels like it was rushed

The stories is interesting and well performed. However, the way the book is laid out doesn't always seem to flow from chapter to chapter very well and some of the anecdotes are a bit weak. It has the feeling of an essay that needs redrafting before submission and I wonder if this was due to rushing to get it out the door while top gear was fresh in minds.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Newcastle, UK
  • 27-07-16

Excellent book

I rejoined Audible after some 4 years away just so that I could listen to this book! And well worth it was too. Great narrative by Richard Porter who painted a very real picture of what it's like to work on Top Gear, what worked, what didn't work, and what was a lot more hassle than it was worth!

The only criticism I would dare to level at it is the length, it could have easily been twice as long and told a lot more stories from their travels, but Richard is a busy man!

Looking forward to the next one detailing life on the Grand Tour!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great

Great book for fans of top gear. Loved the insight and behind the scenes look into this great show.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • m
  • 10-11-15

Great for TG fans

As a big TG fan, though under few illusions over what the cast are actually like, there were no great surprises there.

Some fun and interesting behind the scenes stories, though others conspicuously absent in any detail - eg the arctic trip. If you like the off-the-wall witticisms of top gear, we are left in no doubt that Mr Porter is responsible for many. "Drowning in kittens"....haha. I guess the biggest disappointment is in being left wanting more. This is not the book's fault of course...

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great listen. So entertaining.

Really enjoyed it. If you like TopGear you'll love it. Trust me. It is fun and entertaining.

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Brilliant

Very interesting insight into the world of top gear behind the camera and also very funny.

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  • Mr
  • 14-05-18

Good fun for fans of the show.

I enjoyed this a lot. It's a great "behind the scenes" book that will interest and amuse fans of the show, and explores many of the on and off screen issues that affected the series over the years. Including its complex relationship with the BBC and the media.

It's written by a guy who was at the heart of it from beginning to end, who isn't afraid to admit the show's failings, and who obviously "gets" that for so many of us, it was more than just a hour of silly television. It was a little respite from reality.

Narrator is fine.

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I wish the author had read it....

...otherwise it’s perfect.
It’s as funny as Top Gear, it feels like Top Gear, sounds like Top Gear.
It’s Top Gear!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!!!

Well read and an excellent, truthful, insight to the Top Gear show, Presenters and Team.
if you are a fan of the show, this is a must!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely superb.

Fantastic book. loved every second of it. A true, Frank and fascinating insight into one of the greatest tv programmes ever made.

Fan of Top Gear? Then this is an absolute must.

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  • James
  • 18-12-17

Must read for Top Gear fans

Really good insight into the behind the scenes of the Top Gear phenomenon. Hearing the story from the person who wrote so much of the show helps understand the effort that went into the show.

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  • BILLB
  • 09-12-17

If you like Top Gear....

A very well done and well read back story on one of the most unique TV shows of the last 25 years.
Interesting, funny and informative; read by the author and the guy who lived it. Fully enjoyable book.

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  • Jeremy clarkson
  • 24-01-18

great book

loved it, gave me the behind the scene look of my favorite show. goodbye top gear

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Zack
  • 08-10-16

two pauses

I downloaded this program at just before 4 pm on a friday. I finished packing my car and was almost ready to go.
I began the program, shifted to drive and then set off across I-90 across South Dakota.

I paused the program the first time just long enough to order a sandwich at Arhy's, then it went right back on.

The final time I paused it was when I arrived at my Granother's house and made about 90 minutes of conversation before it was time for bed. Then it went right back on.

Eleven hours after hitting play (12 if you believe in time zones) I'm extremely sad this book has ended, but massively excited at Top Gear as a show bravely soldering on, The Grand Tour seeing the Trio embark on a massively entertaining new chapter in broadcasting, and so, so grateful for this awesome look at a show I love so much to be available as an audio book for one of the more dreary drives on planet earth.

And I am certain I will listen to it again on my return trip on Monday.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful