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What if God sounded a lot like Jeremy Clarkson? The Top Gear presenter will lend his voice to car satellite navigation systems by Europe-based company TomTom. And instead of the calm, soothing voice you hear cooing out turn-by-turn instructions, Clarkson will bellow marching orders like, “Turn right. Turn RIGHT. You missed it! For the love of . . !”
Clarkson he told the Sunday Times (via The Daily Mail): “It is mostly about the tone of voice I use.
“There’s a tone of voice I use when ordering people to do things, so, ‘I said left, left, I said left,’ you know, that kind of thing. It’s not a gentle sat nav voice, put it like that.”
Clarkson added: “You can put it in Stig mode, apparently, which is when nothing happens. It doesn’t speak to you at all.”
“So you can either have Stig or me, and personally I would use The Stig most.”
Hee. No word yet on when Clarkson’s voice will castigate harried motorists in the States.
• In Monday’s (September 12) premiere episode of Top Gear, the boys seek unconventional alternatives to pricey train travel. They fit some common vehicles – an old Jaguar XJS convertible, the dreaded caravan – with train-track wheels and give them a spin on the railways of England. Oh, and Mr. Bean (a.k.a. Rowan Atkinson) shows up somewhere along the line.
Here’s an extended clip of Jeremy, James May, and Richard Hammond putting their Jaguar “locomotive” to the test. Richard quips, “The only thing that would really perfect the experience is if there were steam. But as it’s an old Jaguar, there’s a very real chance.”
• Users of a UK-based dating site selected Clarkson and Hammond as two of their fantasy celebrity “friends with benefits,” behind the likes of Daniel Craig, David Beckham, and the No. 1 choice, erm, Piers Morgan. (London24)
• While a real-life former F1 driver, David Coulthard, did a lap around the Top Gear test track on Sunday, a group of Gran Turismo 5 gamers were virtually racing him at the same time. It was all part of the Mercedes Live Race event, and the fastest gamer won a trip to Brazil. But, overall, the flesh-and-blood driver posted the best time. (Take that, technology.) GTPlanet has photos and a recap, but you can watch video below:
See more posts by Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.