Top Gear

Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear Reaches Milestone Anniversary: “Suffice To Say, Things Got Better”

Richard Porter, who was the ‘script editor’ and a large part of the brains behind Top Gear has acknowledged a major milestone.

Taking to his Twitter account, @sniffpetrol, Porter revealed that it is “almost exactly 20 years ago this evening the very first episode of ‘new’ Top Gear transmitted.”

The ‘new’ Top Gear Porter is referring to was Jeremy Clarkson’s debut hosting alongside Richard Hammond and Jason Dawe.

Porter jokingly added:

“Suffice to say, things got better.”

The script writer and author added:

“For that first episode, and only that first episode, I was credited as ‘script supervisor’ (even though in TV terms that is a very different job” By ep2 it was agreed I was ‘script editor’ which was closer to what I actually did (write sh*t gags and correct all the car facts)”

Porter was a huge part of the show behind the scenes up until Clarkson’s dramatic exit in 2015 when he decided to leave with Clarkson, Hammond, and May and worked on The Grand Tour with them until it changed to the new format without the tent.

He continued:

“Sorry, forgot the shameless plug. I wrote a book about working on this era of Top Gear, 2002-2015. If you haven’t already bought and read it, I’d be delighted if you did. If you have already bought it, please buy it again.”

In an interview with Adrian Flux, Porter described his time writing for the shows and the fact that he loved to be behind the scenes. He said:

“It was really good fun doing the script stuff for Top Gear and the Grand Tour because it was always a collaborative effort between me and the three presenters because they all write as well. Part of my job was to be the fourth brain on it and come up with the extra gags and thoughts and feed them in. You get to stand just behind the camera and listen to them as they regurgitate your material, and do it beautifully as well.

As Porter mentions, Top Gear can be seen from Season One: Episode One on BBC iPlayer.

Richard Porter writes for the EVO magazine and hosts the ‘Sniff & Smith’ podcast alongside other journalist Jonny Smith.

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