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And on that Bombshell: Inside the Madness and Genius of Top Gear

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,100 ratings  ·  68 reviews

I was Top Gear's script editor for 13 years and all 22 series. I basically used to check spelling and think of stupid gags about The Stig. I also got to hang around with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. It didn't feel like something you should get paid for.

From the disastrous pilot show of 2002 to the sudden and unexpected ending in 2015, wo

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published October 22nd 2015 by Orion
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  1,100 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019, audio
And on that Bombshell is a look back at the golden years of Top Gear from 2002 to the disastrous events of 2015 by the series script editor Richard Porter. As a big fan of the show I enjoyed the book immensely. As you might expect from a show writer, the book is just as witty and silly as the series was as it dives into the history of the show and how it became a global phenomenon. I loved hearing about the origin of the Stig and how the show managed to put stars in their reasonably priced car. ...more
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ambitious and not rubbish!
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I inhaled this book. It is a fantastic combination of silly but witty jokes, amusing but insightful anecdotes, and genuine historical lore about Top Gear. Porter's clean style and clear voice make for a quick read that takes you into pretty much every aspect of the show you'd always wondered about.

Was it scripted? How the hell did The Stig coach celebrities without revealing his identity? What was it like to get famous? What was it like to get really famous? Is Jeremy really like that? Is James
Te Riu Warren
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn’t put this one down! A well written tale of Top Gear, and what goes on behind the scenes.
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This would be my usual in depth style review but by the time Goodreads put it on here I'd read quite a few more books.

That said, I absolutely loved this book, for any fan of the show it's an essential read. It tells the reader how Top Gear used to be and how in its new format how it became the global phenomenon it was right up until the end. But it's also so much more, we get backstage stories, how The Stig came to be, the preparation that went into creating the challenges that became as much a
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great read. Very humerous at times. Last chapter dealing with Clarkson's stupidity could have been more detailed ...more
Fred Hughes
No logic to how it is written. Like a bunch of small blurbs pasted together to make a book. Dissapointing
Christopher Taylor
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the story of Top Gear's triumphant run where it became the most-watched show worldwide and the most popular car show of all time, rewriting what many of the rules and style of television in the process. It is written by the script editor Richard Porter, who worked with the three main hosts to build each show.

At times Porter waxes so Top Gear-comedy-writer that its hard to read. Getting a zinger once in a while is funny, but non stop for several paragraphs in a row (or the entire intro an
Lee Penney
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I, like many, was a fan of Top Gear. So a book that promises to take you “inside the madness and genius” of the programme was naturally of interest, especially if it was funny too (and how could it not be?).

The author was there before Andy Wilman took over as producer and the ‘new’ Top Gear was born, so has some insight into the whole affair from start to end. The chapters that largely flow chronologically through the series, but with the occasional step out to cover a specific topic (like The S
Jose Ramirez
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a good, light read. If you are a fan of Top Gear you will enjoy the stories that Porter shares. Some really interesting stuff about the formation of the show and behind the scenes things that went on. There was an interesting reveal about the Patagonia special and a guest they had lined up.

Porter is also pretty candid on his feelings regarding the incident with Clarkson assaulting Oisin Tymon that caused the end of the show. I feel like Porter could have shared a bit more about some of
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you loved Top Gear with Jeremy, Richard, and James, you will love this book about the show written by script editor Richard Porter. Each short chapter gives a behind the scenes description of a different aspect of making the show, stuff that enriches your favorite films and confirms that the presenters are as good as they seem on TV. There are stories of things never aired as well. I wish the book didn't end the way the show ended, but it is logical. Three sections contain dozens of photos. ...more
Apr 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The source of a lot of Top Gear’s humorous writing is very evident in this book. It was very interesting to read about the evolution and development of one of my favorite shows, although I was a bit bummed there weren’t more funny stories about the trio or other miscellaneous anecdotes. This is a book about the making of a TV show, not about the ramblings or shenanigans of an orangutan, a hamster, and a spaniel.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
this book is well-written and if you have ever watched ANY episode of Top Gear, you'll have a good idea about the shenanigans these three get up to. of course, if you don't speak Her Majesty's english, you may need a translator.

my main problem is that this non-fiction book SORELY needs an index and less so, a table of contents.
Ciarán Murray
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book - gives an insight to see what it was like to work with the most well-known trio of presenters in the world. The authors work as the scriptwriter of Top Gear is evident through his delivery of facts and jokes.
If you're a car enthusiast or just interested in Top Gear as a program, give this a read.
Jeff Parry
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable

A great insight into the 13 rise and fall of the behemoth that was Top Gear. It made me laugh, it answered some questions and told me of life with the Three Idiots. Well worth a read.
Justina Contenti
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're a Top Gear fan at all this book is a must read. I certainly haven't seen every episode but really enjoyed the insight into how the show came to be, which Porter outlined in this book. It was very funny and I could hardly put it down. ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book so much! Wasn’t what I was expecting as I thought it would be mostly about the boys but it focuses on Richard and the actually life of the show and the people who made it. Was well written and the top gear style was ever present :)
Danny Theurer
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This is more than distant fan dribble - this is a real chronicle of one of the greatest TV series ever, and it has been done by someone who was on the inside and had access to all the main players. If you are a fan of Top Gear, do yourself a favor and read this book.
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a really great book, where everything about TG is detailed described.I like the tone and the style which the Author used in the book. Personally I recmoned this as a must read for every fan of the show.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you loved Top Gear (before a few events and the subsequent cancelling), you will love this Behind-The-Scenes look at what went into making the show.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
Good book, must read for top gear fans. Incredibly British, if you're not from the UK you'll miss quite a few references in this book. ...more
Helen Magee
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Really interesting insight into all things Top Gear
Sep 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: quit-reading
Wooden writing. Unfocused and trivial. Tries too hard to get quick laughs at the expense of telling a story or even developing the characters, who *are* the story.
Sam Dunn
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoyed top gear, you'll love this. He mentions the incident that ended the show. I don't agree with him, Clarkson was essential. ...more
Mark Johnson
Apr 05, 2020 rated it liked it
A nice easy read in these strange times.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very funny. Probably would be very funny even you weren’t a Top Gear fan like some of us here
Second read of this book - great to see how one of the most popular programs became into making.
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A must read for my Top Gear fan. Some good insights to the inner workings of such a great show.
Sam Still Reading
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone in the world
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: I love Top Gear
I am a stark raving mad Top Gear / Clarkson, Hammond and May fan as evidenced in many previous reviews and blog posts. Well, perhaps not totally. I don’t own every single DVD and book, I find Top Gear magazine a bit boring and I haven’t seen every episode 10 times. I have however, run after Jeremy Clarkson (I couldn’t catch him – he’s tall and I’m not that fast in heels) and searched out Hammond (couldn’t find him in a crowded room, we’re about the same height). I have met James May who is delig ...more
Ondrej Urban
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the eastern Europe, where I come from, it is a crime comparable to
bringing your own food to grandma's house if you directly pay for a piece of
visual entertainment that is not a cinema. If you've lived abroad for a
while and find torrenting and so on dodgy, you can get around this by
netflixing and all the rest, where an invisible man takes your money every
month for unspecified reasons and, hey look, there is TV in the computer!
Being all this, I've found it unbearable to even consider buying
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