'Today and every day for me, up until May 2016, is all about the first episode of the brand new Top Gear.
The show I've been hired to save from becoming mere ashes blowing across the hinterland of the golden age of television.
A show as infamous as it's revered the world over. A show that somehow exploded from a monthly regional BBC Midlands half-hour magazine programme in the late Seventies into the global anarchic phenomenon it is today. 'What follows is the story of the television equivalent of being asked to take over from The Beatles.
Just as there was John, Paul, George and Ringo, in this case there was Clarkson, Hammond, May and Andy Wilman, their producer.
Just as The Beatles scored hit after hit from 1962 to 1970, The Four Amigos have scored hit after hit from Birmingham to Bratislava for the past decade or more.
Under their reign Top Gear became the most illegally downloaded programme of all time and the biggest car show, ever not to mention the subject of several international diplomatic stand-offs, climb-downs and general ongoing rumpuses.
On top of all that, they have produced consecutive bestselling Christmas DVDs and toured the planet with their live stadium shows. 'Now consider this if you will, as I have been doing practically every minute since being offered the biggest job in television.
There's only one of me. I've had no hits whatsoever, I've never been on any world tours of any kind, only a handful of people outside the UK have the first clue who I am - and I don't even have a band (yet). 'Beginning to get the picture? 'To say I'm a little tense and distracted would be one way of putting it.
To say I'm absolutely sh***ing my pants would be a little closer to the mark.'
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 31/07/2017
- Category: Television
- ISBN: 9780297609858