Fans of the BBC’s iconic Top Gear series and those who simply enjoy being in the presence of some of the most expensive and powerful vehicles on the planet should prepare themselves for Top Gear Live, which is taking place later this month.

The annual showpiece of crazy stunts, astonishing vehicles and the banter of hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond is returning to the Birmingham NEC on October 25th to 28th and this year looks set to be biggest and most extravagant event ever.

Top Gear Live 2011 Track

Top Gear Live creative director Rowland French commented: “I must admit suffering a small amount of incredulity when the three presenters told me of their extreme plans for Top Gear Live this year. You simply won’t believe what they have in store for you.”

Top Gear Live 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the popular TV series in its new format – first aired in October 2002 – with a number of special events being organised to commemorate the occasion.

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May

Popularity for the new format of Top Gear has skyrocketed over recent years. Indeed, the show is even set to be honoured as the world’s most widely watched factual television series in the 2013 edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

Andy Wilman, Top Gear’s executive producer, said: “We talked to The Stig about jumping out of a cake but his left elbow started twitching, which is always a warning of impending massive violence, so we abandoned that idea.

“In the end we decided we’ll show a lovely and mostly tasteful film celebrating our achievements over the last ten years. Firstly because it’s full of good things, and secondly the audience can have a laugh at how much the presenters have aged.”

Top Gear Live 2011 The Stig

An array of special events have been planned for the Top Gear Live show this year, with Clarkson planning to take on The Stig with the aid of the armed forces in a secret challenge, while the Top Gear Stunt Team will be making a yet-to-be-disclosed world record attempt.

Deadly 720 loop the loop

Features that have been unveiled include an exhibition of motorised sidecar polo, as well as a celebration of 50 years of Bond films featuring Aston Martins, with Skyfall – the new Hollywood outing for 007 – hitting cinemas across the UK that very weekend.

Fans of the Top Gear series will be treated to plenty of live banter from the show’s gregarious hosts, while they will also be able to get up close and personal with a number of popular vehicles from the series, including the famous Toyota Hilux that has been described by the show as “indestructible”.

Top Gear Live 2011 - Chariot Racing

In a two-part feature first aired in series three of Top Gear, Clarkson put to the test the notion that the Hilux is the world’s most robust vehicle. In a series of challenges, he subjected the pick-up truck to trials by fire and water, even dropping a caravan on it at one point.

In a final coup de grace, the Hilux was placed atop a building that was set for demolition and allowed to fall into the rubble of the structure as charges ripped through it. However, the car was recovered from the wreckage and low and behold, while significantly worse for wear, it started and could still be driven.

In honour of its resilience, the team decided to mount the valiant vehicle on a plinth and fans of the series are still able to check it out in person at this year’s Top Gear Live.

A range of other exhibitions are also available for visitors in 2012, with numerous supercars – including the Ariel Atom V8, Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster, Aston Martin Vanquish, Ferrari 458, Koenigsegg CCX and Lamborghini Aventador – all to be on display.

Performance Direct Insurance at Top Gear Live 2011

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Posted by Mark Thompson

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