Car News 18 Dec 2019

Our Favourite Top Gear Christmas Specials

On the 29 December, you can see out the decade with a brand-new Top Gear Christmas special. The new episode is promised to be “epic and gruelling” and a must-see for the holiday season. It follows the presenters as they set out on one of their “toughest road trips away” across Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, to the Forbidden City of Lo Manthang. If there’s anything that will add purpose to the awkward five days between Christmas and New Year, it should be this. But will it be as good as the festive episodes that came before? This week, we’re looking at some of our favourite Top Gear Christmas Specials of all time.

Vietnam Special, 2008

The 75-minute episode first aired in 2008 but is still just as entertaining 11 years on. Across the Oracle team, this special stood out by a mile. The episode follows Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May on their journey to Vietnam. However, it’s not as easy as it seems, as all three of them had to find something to drive there in for 15 million dong, which is equivalent to around £600!

Christmas specials
Image: TopGear

Bolivia Special, 2009

This episode was rated an impressive 9.4 out of 10 on IMDB and “took TopGear to a whole new level”. The trio take a 1000-mile journey from the Amazon Rainforest to the Pacific Ocean in a second-hand Bolivian four-wheel-drive. Luckily for you, if you missed it back in 2008, or just want to watch it again, it’s on Dave on Friday 27th. A perfect way to get in the mood for the 2019 special!

Christmas Specials
Image: BBC

Middle East Special, 2010

Clarkson, Hammond and May set off on another road trip, but this time, they’re in sports cars on a journey across the Middle East to Jerusalem. How festive! The trio refer to themselves in the episode as the ‘Three Wise Men’ as they take the same route that we know so well from the Nativity. But instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh, they come bearing “gold, shampoo and a Nintendo DS”. Close enough!

Image: BBC

India Special, 2011

“I’m not paying £13 quid”. This is the infamous Clarkson quote from this episode which is now a frequently used meme – for this reason alone, it would be rude not to feature it in our list! The 2011 special takes the trio to India in three old British cars in a bid to “boost the economy by embarking on a trade mission”. The three travel around India promoting Great Britain with three quintessentially British products, which has “distinctly mixed results”.

Image: Autoblog


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