Top Gear fakery: Lambo test fraud?

2011-08-15 15:30

London - Top Gear may be one of the world’s most popular TV shows but it's had its fair share of controversy over the years. The latest is an ongoing "fakery" scandal which has plagued the show since Tesla took legal action against the BBC for allegedly faking a test of its roadster.

Wheels24 reported in August that the programme angered Nissan with its LEAF test, during which the electric car was shown breaking down despite starting the test on less than half its battery capacity.

Now it seems sources are keen to jump on the Top-Fakery band wagon, even going into archive footage to out the programme as not always quite accurate.

The latest claims are that scenes filmed with 'Top Gear' stars are actually performed by professional drivers. Sources even claim that some of the high-speed stunts on the show’s track are actually executed by professional racing drivers hired by the BBC.

A source told the Daily Mail that there were limitations when it came to filming an episode and the show hired professionals to perform the stunts of which Jeremy Clarkson and his co-hosts are not capable.


"Well, he’s (Clarkson) not a pro, is he? There are limitations with filming. It’s all done on a pretty tight time schedule and they need to get the right shots quickly, which is why they use pros because they can do the stunts in one take," said the source."

A second source said: "'Top Gear' relies on professional racing drivers a lot more than the show would suggest. I would say 80% of the driving on the show is done by pros but it is made to look as if it’s done by Jeremy. When you see the wheels on a car spinning and smoke coming out, that will more than likely be a professional driver."

An episode aired in 2008 shows Clarkson test-driving a £178 000 (R2-million) Lamborghini Murcielago at a top speed of 333km/h in heavy rain. According to the Daily Mail however, though Clarkson was behind the wheel during certain sections of the episode, it was in fact Formula 3 driver Aaron Scott who achieved the blistering pace of 333km/h limit.

BBC spokeswoman Tara Davies commented that 'Top Gear' used professional drivers to save costs… no doubt Clarkson’s reported R10-million a year salary could be affecting overall costs.


"Yes, professional drivers are used on the show. On the Power Laps, production has the car for a day, and during that time Jeremy has to go off to do scripting, so rather than him driving for a bit and then everyone having some down time and the car just sitting there while he goes off and writes, and because it is a very expensive show to make, other people may do the driving."

Davies added that Clarkson would have driven the car up to the speed of 333km/h but for the purposes of padding out the episode with different shots/angles they would use a professional driver.

Davies issued a statement as reported on the Daily Mail: “Jeremy would have driven the car and got it to 333km/h. Then, when they wanted a camera shot of the speedometer going up to 333km/h they would have got a different driver to do that."

Is this telling us anything we didn’t already know? Clarkson and his co-host are certainly accomplished drivers but they couldn’t hold a candle to professional stunt and racing drivers. Clearly professionals are hired to make track shoots more dramatic, also the BBC could say the programmed never said any of its hosts would be behind the wheel for the entirety of the segment.

We suppose it could be called “fake” when viewers are led to believe the presenters are driving when it fact there are hired professionals behind the wheel.

The bottom line is, 'Top Gear' is an entertainment show and will be edited in way that creates the most entertaining show possible. Proof of its success is it’s incredible following and being rated as one of the most-popular shows globally.

Clarkson denies it all!

  • MeltdowN - 2011-08-15 13:50

    Who Cares!? They STILL show us cool Things about cars and give us something to chat about over a beer at a braai!

      Johannvw13 - 2011-08-15 14:11


      JMan - 2011-08-15 15:51


      PiXeL_NiNja - 2011-08-15 16:28

      Fully Agree about whose driving those beasts! Who cares! Although it is a bit concerning when they lie about specs RE cars (ie that Nissan Leaf etc)

      Howzitekse - 2011-08-15 16:49

      One of the only good things about Jeremy Clarkson is that he punched that peophol Piers Morgan. Funny thing is, I told somebody the other day that I had stopped watching Top Gear because it was dishonest. I used to enjoy the show, but got bored of Clarkson calling good cars rubbish, and rubbish cars good. Imagine the damage it does in the market? When all is said and done he is a bit of a plonker. I did enjoy it when that guy pushed him into that hole in the ice though. It must have shrunk him to a raisin.

      RacingShark - 2011-08-15 19:19

      If you talking about cars based on what Top gear says then its quite worrying. No wonder the Citi golf was so loved

      420 - 2011-08-16 01:05

      @Racing. The citi golf will always be a legend...

      Wes - 2011-08-16 08:53

      I love my citi golf..

      FordKop - 2011-08-16 10:17

      @Wes and 420, I loved my citi too until I drove another car. After that I realised almost every other car is better. 420 the citi golf is legendry at snaping clutch cables, brakes fading and engine overhauls after 200 000km. Unfortunatly people always die when it comes to car crashes in those citi's. So to all citi drivers out there please drive safe and avoid accidents because even if you buckle up in a citi golf it still wont help.

      James - 2011-10-22 14:32

      I've watched the show in the US and when they miss represent in the name of sensationalism/ humour the victims surely cannot not happy.

  • Stinkvinger - 2011-08-15 13:52

    Who cares!!!!, its still the best show on tv

  • LionsFan - 2011-08-15 13:54


  • Greg - 2011-08-15 14:14

    I am sure that Tom Cruise does all his own stunts. No one will care as this is the best show on TV bar none.

  • smalambo - 2011-08-15 14:16

    They fake just like the br(ubbish)itish cars they make. cheers

      Sean - 2011-08-27 07:09

      You bring your lambo and I'll bring an Areil Atom(even the smaller engined one) to Kyalami or Zwartkops. And before you think the road will break me the Atom has a more compliant suspension than a lambo so far good measure we can take a drive to Sabi. I promise you I will be smiling all the way. For a daily drive a Nissan GTR will cane your Lambo in every department including chicks(you will get the Sandton fakes I can get the wicked naughties :P)

  • Fredster69 - 2011-08-15 14:29

    I like the show, but Clarkson is a twat

      grant9 - 2011-08-15 22:44

      My belief exactly. He went from hero to zero after the 2007 world cup. He said on the show that the English try that was disallowed for a foot going into touch should have been allowed. He saud, "It was a try. I was there watching the game". I thought what an arrogant twat he was. The refs studied video footage for ages from every angle before making the correct dicision. Clarkson was somewhere in the stands and insisted he knew exactly what happened. Also, he said our wine is crap. He would be hard pushed to show me a good British wine.

  • Louis C - 2011-08-15 14:30

    Next will be an article that stunt men are used in feature films, and in some nude scenes body doubles are used... Oh, the horror!

      mcnasty - 2011-08-16 14:17

      noooit! you mean i didn`t see the `real`charlize theron nude the other night?

  • Raithlin - 2011-08-15 14:52

    "The bottom line is, 'Top Gear' is an entertainment show and will be edited in way that creates the most entertaining show possible. Proof of its success is it’s incredible following and being rated as the fourth most-popular show globally." Bingo.

  • AndV - 2011-08-15 14:52

    Top Gear is the best! At least they "rubbish" a testcar when it is deserved. Not like the SA so-called journo's that's too scared to tell the SA motoring public how bad and low spec some of our local cars are compared with the equivalent model overseas. Not to talk about the R 100 000 premium we are charged for an average family car. They are a useless bunch...

      simon - 2011-08-15 15:26

      Have you ever seen a comparison test on a SA show that does not end in a draw? Its always the same, one gets 1 more point here, the other there and then the both end up on 17/20. They are all too scared of losing there "long term test" cars.

      les - 2011-08-16 15:16

      AndV I agree with you whole heartedly. Also add to your comment that not only are the journo's crap, but it's almost like they're getting paid by one company to keep selling up that one brand of car. At least Clarkson will tell you what he thinks about a car. You might not think so, but at least you'll know what he thinks.

  • tk - 2011-08-15 14:53

    Imagine the world we would have lived in, and the poor luck the Top Gear hosts had to have if their shows were actually the full truth and nothing but the truth... since season 1!!! I will admit their shows did have fewer areas where it was so obvious a setup in the first couple of seasons but heck, it is a fun show which is a mixture between reality and entertainment allowing us to get a bit more information about technologies in the vehicle arena and see beautiful cars... this all while our wives sites next to us and quite happy to watch the car show.

  • K_Tsuchiya - 2011-08-15 14:54

    Show is still good even tho its not them driving the cars. Maybe they should get racing drivers to present the show like Ben Colins. Thats why I watch Best Motoring whenever I can. Real Jap Racing drivers doing it heel and toe around every corner... great stuff.

      Anchorman - 2011-08-15 15:06

      hope you been sarcastic cause I hope you know who Ben Collins is? or should I say who he was

      K_Tsuchiya - 2011-08-15 16:05

      Saw him in an interview ones and it seems like he talks more than Clarkson.

      Brieuse - 2011-08-15 16:30


      les - 2011-08-16 15:20

      I think they did let him drive, maybe once or twice. I think they called him........ THE STIG......

  • Roan - 2011-08-15 15:02

    They put on a good show..

  • TP - 2011-08-15 15:07

    If they are only no4, what shows are the top 3, would really like to know.

  • bigshowj - 2011-08-15 15:27

    Still a very entertaining show!

  • Katoolsie - 2011-08-15 15:43

    Top Gear rocks! I dont care they actually do the driving or not!

  • Katoolsie - 2011-08-15 15:56

    what about the time a few seasons ago when Richard Hammond crashed and almost died in that rocket car?! That really happened and he did it himself! If he did that himself, then why would he not drive a normal car by himself?

  • Moss - 2011-08-15 15:59

    Sure it's entertaining. But then so is professional wrestling ...

      grant9 - 2011-08-15 22:52

      professional wrestling is entertaining - I just wish I had a low enough mentality to enjoy it!

  • Francois - 2011-08-15 16:17

    Haters will hate, get a life bloody hell, or do I need to fix you with a hammer?

  • Seanred - 2011-08-15 16:19

    He is a twat, but a good one old Jeremy. Love the show, local show yawn.

  • cooldog - 2011-08-15 16:22

    Stopped watching it years ago.So badly staged it is frightening that it has so many followers.

      rokster - 2011-08-15 16:30

      Only one with some sense. I also gave up on idiots trying to behave like morons all the time. American version even worse. Bye-bye TG.

  • Trevor - 2011-08-15 17:46

    So what is new and WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • george07 - 2011-08-15 18:42

    stupis show

  • Adam - 2011-08-15 19:12

    What an odd bit piece of reporting? I think it's more fool-those who thought Clarkson and his Crew DID DO all the stunts themselves? Does it actually matter? I'll let you in on a secret... Film directors also pay professionals to do the stunts, but don't tell anyone as it might be classed as fraud

  • RacingShark - 2011-08-15 19:17

    5th gear >>> top gear. WHy, Because there producers are professional racers. Tiff and Jason will wipe the floor clean with the Top gear clowns

      RacingShark - 2011-08-15 19:22

      I meant presenters

  • smalambo - 2011-08-15 20:11

    half the cars in london are already burned out and the shops looted who would believe jeremy "english tart" clarkson, maybe he should focus on a broom and rebuild the streets of london, his show is as cheerful as english fish & chips. cheers

      Sanjeev - 2011-08-16 07:35

      @grant9 - Whats a coolie ? Is that what your mother was ?

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-08-16 05:52

    Hey! Who is behind this article? 5th Gear? Those bums have ALWAYS been jealous of Top Gear's world-wide success....

      Bismuth - 2011-08-16 12:12

      Lol, that would not surprise me. I find "5th Gear" as flat as a Subaru's engine compared to "Top Gear" As the article said, they are an "enterntainment" show, they have "entertained" quite successfully, so stfu haters.

  • Bull Dog - 2011-08-16 07:24

    @grant 9. Calling Pakistanis/Indians coolies is derogatory. Watch your language.

  • zubayr bhyat - 2011-08-16 07:24

    The only thing that I can see wrong here is that they mislead the viewers into thinking they do some of the extreme stunts / pieces. I still enjoy the show though. I have to wonder, with all the bad publicity with for example the veyron vs mclaren - How much do you believe?

  • Engeltjie - 2011-08-16 08:08

    Couldn't care less...Top Gear rocks! I'm a girl and I can spin the wheels 'till smoke comes out, doesn't take a genius to do that.

      Hagar - 2011-08-16 13:43

      In Spar car-park at that!!

  • Daffy - 2011-08-16 08:24


  • Bigboet - 2011-08-16 08:30

    When you buy a car the sales people always lie to you so i don't understand why people say they will not listen to the critics of top gear.

  • Rocky - 2011-08-16 09:19

    No one cares! It is a show, not a documentry. I love it!

  • Pauline Harris - 2011-08-16 12:34

    So how can you 'test' a car and comment about the on-the-limit capabilities if you don't drive the car to those limits yourself? It's a reality show, therefore the falseness is automatic and assumed. Basically schoolboy humour with a high-speed chase-scene thrown in.

  • les - 2011-08-16 15:08

    Why is this news? I live in South Africa, and have only had satalite TV for just over two years, and yet I knew that Clarkson s driving "stunts" were posed. Whoopee twang. Go find something else to write about, like the leaf debacle..... hmm but wait that's all there was to say about it. You didn't really think that a heavy set, tall guy like Clarkson could get into the cabin of a Lamb and actually drive like that did you? If you did, please lift your feet up quickly, your stepping on gullible.... Schmuck

  • Kwashic - 2011-08-16 16:56

    The more they scream fake the more we want to watch the programme! Who cares who was driving the car when a certain shot was captured? We wouldn't care for it if all the driving was by JC alone either. That doesn't change the cars does it?

  • Kwashic - 2011-08-16 17:03

    a part of the show is just entertainment. Some bits are opinions and you have to know how to deal with opinions to be able to watch such. For example, if you like satnav and they show that it gets you lost 80% of the time, you have to suck it in and understand its just the opinion of one man. Wise up and stop watching only those programmes that say what you want to hear.

  • Ayo - 2011-08-16 20:42

    This Show is freaken basis towords certain Brands

  • Blade - 2011-08-18 10:56

    Top Gear Aus is even worse.Rather watch the UK one.

  • Sean - 2011-08-27 07:04

    Um. Ok to all the Idiots that thought Jezza, May & Hammond can produce some many stunts to film for a show. ARE you completely brainless. There ar so many stunts that require pro drivers to get the shots in the shortest time. The show is about the cars and what the cars can do not the friggin presenters. Furthermore if you have ever been to the TG festivals you would find that the Presenters can drive really well, probably better than most. Dont forget that Hammond and May also have official pilots licences.

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