Review: Clarkson, Hammond and May Live

Sam Bisby

By: Sam Bisby

Due to Clarkson’s recent dismissal from the BBC’s Top Gear, there was some speculation as to whether the vastly popular Top Gear Live tour would still go ahead. Myself and other ticket holders were relieved to find out the tour would go ahead, albeit being rebranded as the Clarkson, Hammond & May Show.

These are the highlights of a very enjoyable evening at the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena with Clarkson, Hammond & May.

Getting on with the show

To fire up the crowd at the start, an introduction video was shown on the screen, showing May, Hammond and Clarkson driving cars, blowing up things, fighting and displaying hilarious moustaches as they parodied 1970s detective shows. In a fantastic moment of tongue in cheek, the video ended with Clarkson being mockingly fired after hitting someone.

After the video, Hammond and May made their grand entrance into the arena on motorbikes and introduced themselves; this was followed by Clarkson, who typically attempted to outdo his colleagues by entering on a hovercraft.

Introduction Clarkson, Hammond and May Live

During the first appearances, the team explained how they weren’t legally allowed to mention the TV programme they were featured on for thirteen years; therefore they had legally never met before leading to much laughter from the crowd. They played on the loss of employment and their Top Gear presenting history with jokes littered throughout the show.

Supercars

One of the key moments of the show, Hammond announced to the crowd: "Now sit back and enjoy some automotive pornography." Upon this statement, 11 supercars were driven out in to the Motorpoint Arena to the sound of dramatic music and intense lighting.

These included the McLaren 650S, Porsche 911, Nissan GTR, Ferrari 458 Speciale, Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW i8 and Aston Martin Vanquish. The team then talked about their favourites; Clarkson preferred the Alfa, Hammond liked the Porsche 911 and May liked the Ferrari 458 Speciale as he had bought one himself. Hammond and Clarkson poked fun at May for paying an extra £6,000 simply to have the stripes added on his own Speciale model.

Nissan GTR versus Team GB Athlete

Keeping the Nissan GTR behind after the Supercar line up, May asked Team GB athlete Louise Hazel to race the Nissan GTR over 100 metres to demonstrate that the Nissan GTR is the fastest accelerating car. The Nissan GTR did manage to beat Louise at the Motorpoint Arena.

Kitchen appliance vehicles

As a bit of comedy relief, Clarkson, Hammond and May returned on stage accompanied by a range of kitchen appliance vehicles made for races. Hammond was driving an ironing board car, May was driving a washing machine car and last but not least, Clarkson made a car out of blenders and used an electronic socket to power it. May finally finished the race after a lot of help from stage assistants, but Clarkson’s and Hammond’s car both managed to get tangled up. 

Fire sequence

Burning Porsches

Featuring Naomi Lynch as the flame-thrower, Lynch is in a sequence involving Porsche 911s drifting around her and eventually catching fire, leaving Back to the Future-style fire in their wake.

Reliant Robins

Bringing back a Top Gear favourite, a Reliant Robin race was conducted between Clarkson, Hammond and May. They used the cars from the Top Gear Live trailers and attempted to steer them around the obstacle course. In typical Reliant Robin style, the cars didn’t stay upright too long. Each of the cars fell over meaning there was no race winner and resulted in Clarkson trying to pull himself through the hole where the windscreen should have been, while complaining he has a bad back.

Presenting skit

In a little twist, the team pretended to be bad at presenting in a skit with May driving the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S, Clarkson driving the Porsche 911 and Hammond driving the Corvette Z06. Clarkson ended the skit "and on that bomb explosion". In the second part of the skit, they used a racing driver called The Ben Collins to compare the cars - Collins being the original Stig on Top Gear.

Motorbike cage

A motorcycle stunt cage was also brought out during the show. One motorcycle started off in the cage and the stunt finished with four motorcyclists driving around in the confined spaces of the cage, leaving the crowd with barely any finger nails left as they narrowly avoided each other.

Paul Swift and stunt driving team

Paul Swift and stunt driving team in Ford Fiestas

Paul Swift and his out-of-this-world driving team used their amazing stunt driving skills to display some great stunts set to music in Ford Fiestas. 

Drifting competition

At one of the noisier points of the Clarkson, Hammond & May Show, the trio challenged each other to a drift competition with figure of eights and power slides. Hammond cracked a joke asking Clarkson if he has checked his licence plate as the camera panned to the licence plate reading M394 VAJ.

Feeding the Fish

The drifting section was completed by Feeding the Fish. Two BMWs were driven around a performer as LED lights lit up in time to the music and they performed fantastic driving stunts.

Lacrosse game

In a twist on Top Gear’s famous football game, Clarkson decided to play a game of Lacrosse in Suzukis. Clarkson, Hammond and May played as the England team against the Argentinean team (another throwback to their recent Christmas special in Argentina). The game had a few comedy moments such as Hammond accidentally damaging his car. The game ended with England winning 4-3.

Clarkson, Hammond and May may never record another Top Gear, but they have proved with the live tour that their camaraderie and passion of cars will never disappear. I would recommend Clarkson, Hammond and May Live for anyone who enjoys a great show and especially recommend it to car enthusiasts.