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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 listeners say about And on That Bombshell

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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.

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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 person found this helpful

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Great

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

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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...

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Very interesting

I used to enjoy TopGear and it's been interested to hear about what was going behind the scenes.

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Loved it.

I genuinely enjoyed this book and although it isn't read by Richard himself Ben Elliott does very well to tell the story and engage the listener.

If you like Top Gear this is well worth your time in my opinion.

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HA HA HA 🤣😂

very good, brought back many happy memories, of sitting on the sofa with my daughter and laughing together.

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A top listen to any Top Gear fans

A funny and interesting insight into Top Gear at its best. An insider account of how the show came about and what it took to put it all together, well written and performed.

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Interesting if non revelatory insight into TG

Interesting if non controversially revelatory insight into TG, it's development and inner workings and the people behind the scenes that made it all happen

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great insight into the workings of top gear

fantastic insight into top gear, disappointed that there was no new information regarding the Clarkson incident. He seems to be afraid to give too much away. other than that, a great book.

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  • Lars C.
  • 14-01-20

Doesn't get bogged down

I finished it over the course of two marathon sessions, it's a fantastic look within the rise and fall of Top Gear, that quirky motoring show from across the pond.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Douglas Speicher
  • 15-02-21

Fascinating and heartwarming

I’ve just recently discovered the 2002-2015 UK Top Gear and am enjoying watching every single episode and special straight through. This book, as well as Ben Collins’ autobiography have created wonderful context and behind the scenes details. If you love Top Gear, you’ll love this book!!

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  • C-Bass
  • 28-11-20

Any fan would love this

This is a great behind the scenes look that made me even a bigger fan. Having watched every show, it is great to hear some of the hilarious details and extreme effort poured into each show. It is well read and with the accent makes you feel you are listening to the author.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-20

lovely

We thoroughly enjoyed this book. It came along as part of a road trip, and I honestly feel like those boys are part of my family.

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  • chubly
  • 14-09-20

Must Read For Top Gear Fans

As a fan of the show, I really enjoyed this book as it really went in depth on all points of the show. The narrator was also fantastic!

In my opinion, however, when the author goes into theories of why Top Gear became so popular, I disagree. It’s not a car show it’s a comedy show. The author obviously knows more about the show than I do, but I watched it not because it was about cars but because it was funny and happened to talk about cars.

Before watching the show, I knew nothing about cars, car types, engines, or anything automotive but my husband had it on TV one day and it was funny so I started watching it. We ended up watching the entire series and The Grand Tour during the COVID lockdown.

That being said, the book is a fantastic companion piece to the show and I enjoyed hearing about the innerworkings of the show.

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  • jc 550m
  • 09-07-20

Best car show ever behind the scenes

I have been a TG fan forever. this is a great insight into the workings of the show. After the book ended, I went and watched a few of the shows noted in the book with a fresh view of an already fantastic show.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-01-20

Absolutely fascinating!!!

Having binged top gear multiple times it’s amazing hearing the behind the scenes story. As most would say, I could listen to this for days but am thrilled there is an inside scoop at all! Thank you Richard for writing a phenomenal book and for being a part of a phenomenal show. All top gear fans will enjoy this and even people who aren’t fans should as well. Now on to Hammond’s book!

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  • K. K.
  • 16-08-19

For Top Gear enthusiasts!

This was a really fun listen. While there are definitely some slower parts of the book, the real meat is the anecdotal stories about Clarkson, Hammond, and May from Porter. I feel like I learned a lot about these 3 fascinating individuals, and I think this is a must-buy for any Top Gear/Grand Tour fan.

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  • Rene Boudreaux
  • 16-07-19

A Wonderful Story told by the right man

The true story of Top Gear told in great details by the man who was there & lived it day to day. I've watched EVERY episode several times, it never gets old to me. This book filled in the gaps of what we as huge fans didnt see on the show. Thank You Richard Porter for "filling in the gaps" to a huge fans obsession.

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  • Aivaras Pranskaitis
  • 07-04-19

For All Top Gear Fans

Loved it. A glimpse into Top Gear history/operations written in a Top Gear humor style.