Video: Top Gear gets the 60 Minutes treatment
Just in case the egos of Jeremy Clarkson and Andy Wilman required any further inflation, Top Gear has been deemed sufficiently important for it to be featured on the highly respected US news show, 60 Minutes.
The CBS programme has been running for over 30 years, and is responsible for some of the finest investigative journalism ever recorded, but its 15 minute look at the world's most popular automotive show is a little less revelatory than, say, uncovering the CIA's involvement in drug smuggling.
Clearly 60 Minutes visited Top Gear with the intention of finding out how three middle aged men (four including producer Wilman) turned a tiny British motoring show into a global phenomenon with 350 million viewers. What they found was four overgrown schoolboys who despite being very smart, don't really know how they did it anyway.
Top Gear's controversies are mentioned of course, but 60 Minutes reporter Steve Kroft is wise enough to gloss over these in the same tongue in cheek manner they were originally delivered. It's unfortunate the segment wasn't recorded closer to transmission, otherwise the Stig's unveiling might have offered Kroft a bit more ammunition.
Otherwise it's amiable stuff, and certainly worth a watch for a rare look back at the moment Hammond lost control of a rocket car and ended up fighting for his life. The episode is not repeated in the UK and, admirably, is never referred to in subsequent shows.
Click here to see the 60 Minutes item.