Paddy McGuinness smiles and says: “It’s grown legs a little bit, this” of his now infamous Top Gear crash involving a Lamborghini Diablo.
“I went from a Lamborghini to a Skoda in the same episode, so yeah, it was painful,” he chuckles.
After losing control of the car in North Yorkshire during filming for series 29 of the hit automotive show, the 47-year-old Take Me Out and Top Gear presenter made national headlines by “ripping off” the underside of the £250,000 machine.
“We were driving, it was torrential rain and there was oil on the road,” he tries to explain.
“We weren’t going very fast, but the back end spun out and it went on to the grass and the trouble with the Diablo is it’s so low down, it’s fibreglass, and so the bottom was ripped off… I was thinking, ‘How did this happen? We’re facing the wrong way!’”
The accident has become something of a long-running joke for the Top Gear presenting trio, as McGuinness’ co-hosts, ex-England cricketer Freddie Flintoff, 42, and automotive journalist Chris Harris, 45, proceed to point out.
“Honestly, Paddy is committed to this show and he took one for the team,” Harris adds. “That morning he said, ‘Look, I’m going to have a really low-speed, amateur-looking shunt in this Lamborghini to get us on the front page of the papers,’ – and look, it worked beautifully.”
Understandably, there’s something about a car show line-up involving an ex-England cricketer, a comedian and an automotive journalist that sounds more like the set-up to a joke than a successful presenting trio.
However, it’s a formula that clearly works, given “the response to the last season was so strong” says Harris.
So much so, the forthcoming series is moving from its former home on BBC2 to a new primetime slot on BBC1 after last year’s opening episode attracted an impressive 3.5 million viewers.
Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the Top Gear team appear undeterred, swapping the confines of the studio for a brand new drive-in set-up with a socially distanced studio audience.
“Chris was loving it because he got a chance to go out there, even before we started turning the cameras on, and just looking at the cars,” says McGuinness.
“Because Chris is obviously an oracle when it comes to cars, people were actually loving him saying nice things about their cars – but also trolling the cars a little bit as well.
“They kind of took a bit of pride in that.”
Top Gear, BBC1, tonight, 8pm
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe