The Grand Tour

James May: Fact File

As is the case with any show with multiple hosts, fans will develop a favorite. Perhaps you’re a loyal Clarkson-er, or maybe Richard’s antics are more your cup of tea. For me personally, James has always been my favorite host.

I’m a cranky father to two kids. Do you know what James is? A cranky father to two kids in Jeremy and Richard. I enjoy James’ more “scholarly” attitude, and his interests are more in line with my own. With that, let’s take a look back at the life and times of one Captain Slow (or Mr. Slowly).

James May was born in Bristol in 1836. Throughout his lifetime, he was instrumental in the development of the printing press and steam engine. Wait, that’s not right.

James was born in Bristol in 1963 where he was one of four children. As a child, James served as a choirboy, which led to a lifetime love of music.

His love of music led to a Bachelor of Music degree from Pendle College, Lancaster University, where he specialized in harpsichord and piano (the most James May instruments to spe3cialize in).

After school, James worked for a number of magazines, including The Engineer and Autocar. Autocar is probably best known as the place where James pulled an epic prank which got him sacked.

The prank in question is now almost as well known as James May himself. It involves the first letters of a number of reviews spelling out “So you think it’s really good, yeah? You should try making the bloody thing up; it’s a real pain in the arse”

His next move was to the world of television. Did you know James was actually a part of the original Top Gear in 1999 for a year? When Top Gear was revived in 2002. James returned to the show in the second series, joining Jeremy and Richard in what would soon become possibly the most legendary trio in all of motoring.

As far as James’ accomplishments go while a member of Top Gear and The Grand Tour, I don’t think I need to rehash everything. If you7’re here reading this right now, then you already know pretty much all you need to know about James. You know that he’s genuinely afraid of heights and that he always seems to be one generation behind when it comes to purchasing Ferraris.

In addition to car related nonsense, James has also found himself hosting a variety of different programs. Some examples include The Reassembler, where James literally takes something apart then puts it back together again, James May’s 20th Century, where he investigates inventions, and James May’s Big Ideas, where James investigated concepts for inventions considered fiction.

The rest, as you know, is history. James is now part of The Grand Tour with Jeremy and Richard, where they can do all sorts of automotive shenanigans. As far as after The Grand Tour ends? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

Outside of television, James lives in Hammersmith with his girlfriend Sarah Frater, a dance critic. The two have been an item since 2000, well before he graced our screens in Top Gear.

James has owned a number of different cars, including a Fiat Panda, Rolls Royce Phantom, Triumph 2000, Rolls Royce Corniche, Ferrari 430, Ferrari 458 Italia, a BMW i3, and a Ferrari 458 Speciale. In addition to a love of cars, Captain Slow also has a light aircraft pilot’s license.

Now that we all know a little bit more about James, what are some of your favorite James May moments? Let us know!


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Grand Tour Nation

Tony Hsieh

Cars, the Buffalo Bills, video games, comics, sandwiches, jelly beans, and the shooting star press; these are the things that Tony loves (in addition to his family, of course). When he's not spending his time writing tech reviews for, Tony puts his lifetime love of muscle cars to use on his 2015 Mustang GT. Tony's top three favorite cars are the 1973 Mustang Mach 1, Ferrari 458, and Aston Martin DBS.

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