Top Gear Thursday: For Richard Hammond, It *Is* Rocket Science

Richard works on welding rocket parts. (BBC America)

In the season two finale of Richard Hammond’s Crash Course, Richard Hammond is aiming high — 40,000 feet high — by joining scientists to launch an actual rocket from the Mojave Desert.

Then Richard tries his hand — or rather his feet — at being a bicycle messenger on the streets of San Francisco. In addition to the Golden Gate Bridge and lots of fog, Frisco is of course known for its famous hills, so there’s likely to be plenty of huffing and puffing. And in the midst of it all, Richard will question why he’s delivering stuff for one of the world’s most famous new media companies, Twitter, via such an obvious example of old technology, namely, the bicycle.

The season finale of Richard Hammond’s Crash Course premieres Monday, December 10 at 10p/9c.

Don’t blame the messenger.

• The whole point of Crash Course has been for Richard to learn about American jobs while doing them. Inevitably, that means making mistakes – how else would Richard, or anyone, learn? But there are mistakes and then there are mistakes – and the second kind are, fortunately, the ones that end up in outtakes, or gag reels.

• Jeremy Clarkson and James May are guests on The Graham Norton Show in the episode that airs this Saturday (December 8, 10p/9c). The British chat show host asked actor Jake Gyllenhaal whether he’s ever been a guest on Top Gear – he hasn’t – but it turns out that Norton has never been on the show, either – a situation that Clarkson eagerly tried to correct on air.

“Would you like to see Graham do it?” Jezza asks the audience on the show, who answer loudly in the affirmative.

“Unfortunately, that’s your January booked up,” Clarkson comments.

(From right to left) Jake Gyllenhaal, Joan Rivers, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on ‘The Graham Norton Show’ (BBC America)

“Can’t you be killed doing it?” asks Norton.

“No-o-o,” answers Clarkson, who then adds: “Well, yes.”

• Some say he doesn’t read books, he eats them. We call him The Stig.

The anonymous helmeted celebrity was spotted – and captured on video – buying large quantities of books at the British supermarket Tesco’s. In fact, they were all of a single title, The Stig: The Untold Story, a biography written by a writer who followed The Stig and researched his life for an entire year.

“The book is no ordinary biography and The Stig wasn’t a willing subject,” the book’s publisher said in a statement released to Carscoop. The book’s author faced a daunting task. “The year-long quest took him from Surrey to another part of Surrey to the very ends of Surrey and then, unexpectedly, to Finland before returning to Surrey. Along the way he unearthed remarkable information about The Stig’s influence in areas as diverse as motorsport, international politics and the punk movement. He also got covered in a strange green substance.”

Still, the reason that The Stig was buying up all the books is unclear. Does he want his story to remain untold? Or is he simply trying to propel the book to the top of the bestseller list? We may never know. (via TopGear.com)