It’s been revealed that while the latest episode of The Grand Tour, named Lochdown, was set in Scotland, not all of the show was actually filmed in the country. In fact, it’s been confirmed that the ending was actually set in Swindon, 350 miles South of Edinburgh.
The final segment of the episodes follows the ex-Top Gear presenters as they head to a new town on the Isle of Skye called Hammondsburg. In the episode’s story, it was set up by Andy Wilman to be an American-themed location with things such as laser quest, a multiplex, and a sports bar.
What viewers didn’t realise is that with a subtle sweep of the camera and a transition, we’d travelled from the Outer Hebrides and arrived in Swindon, specifically, West Swindon leisure park. The area had obviously had an American makeover, which Jeremy compliments as he pulls up at a bar called The Ridge.
The manager of this establishment, Luke Jacobs, was interviewed on how this came to be and what it was like hosting The Grand Tour presenters.
“It was really cool but it was a very hard-kept secret! It’s quite exciting for us and great for the area, it’s put Swindon on the map.
“The show’s crew arrived at around 7am to set everything in the leisure park up and they were a good group of people.
“The boys arrived in the afternoon in their expensive cars, which was great, and they spoke to us briefly, they seemed like nice guys.
“They were all done by 3pm, it all happened quite quickly. We ticked all the boxes for them and I think someone had recommended us to them so this might snowball into other things, who knows.
“We’ve had so many messages from people who saw the special over the weekend, it’s been mad.
“It’s a massive show so it was really surreal seeing The Ridge in it, I rewound it a few times and felt very proud.”
Obviously, the episode was heavily planned and it’s not like other TV shows don’t do similar things. But why does it feel like cheating when The Grand Tour does this? I’m interested to know your thoughts…