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And on That Bombshell

Inside the Madness and Genius of TOP GEAR
Narrated by: Richard Porter, Ben Elliot
Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (433 ratings)

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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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  • Overall
    3 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 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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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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  • GJ
  • 26-09-19

Enjoyable

Starts off very slow, but you once it gets going it’s enjoyable and you get to understand some of the stories behind the show.

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Behind the curtain

interesting insight to the growth of top gear. it's worth a listen if you were a fan of the show.

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Some say

Some say if you’re a fan of the show you must give this a listen! The book goes into the history of the show and what it was like to work with the trio.

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The book you wish never ended

Loved every minute, I really didn't want it to end, a extremely well written, funny, witty, narrated brilliantly, about my favourite childhood show, what could be better?

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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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  • 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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  • Krystal Kwong
  • 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.

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  • Theodore John
  • 18-03-19

Huge Fan Approved!

I loved Top Gear with these three guys. I love the new Grand Tour. The three of them have such an engaging relationship that it is no wonder they all got along. The backstory to how it all came to be and how it all progressed is absolutely engaging and really wonderful to listened to. At times I felt myself laughing and utterly shocked at what I was hearing. To hear how it all fell apart from one of the people who was there adds clarity to the whole story. The media delivery of this news was utter crap and twisted fabrication of the truth. Thank you Mr. Porter for setting the record straight. Thankfully, with the Top Gear debacle in their past, the three have gone on to much better things. I also find it tremendously honorable that James May and Richard Hammond would not do anything without their partner in crime.

This book is well worth the time and I highly recommend it.

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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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  • 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.

2 people found this helpful