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Ron Howard, left, crosses arms with The Stig. (BBC AMERICA)
Ron Howard, left, crosses arms with The Stig. (BBC AMERICA)
Ron Howard, left, crosses arms with The Stig. (BBC AMERICA)

Cue the Arrested Development opening theme music:

Now the story of a child and teen actor who turned to directing and went on to make such hits as Apollo 13, Splash, and A Beautiful Mind. It’s Ron Howard … who also happens to be next week’s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. The episode premieres Monday, July 15 at 8:30pm/7:30c.

Cars have, of course, played a significant role in Howard’s career. His first directing effort, backed by producer Roger Corman, was Grand Theft Auto in 1977. (Howard wrote and starred in it, as well.)

And his current project, Rush, set to open in September, tells the true life story of the legendary rivalry between Formula 1 race drivers James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl).

So while he’s finishing up that movie, it was only natural that he stopped by Top Gear for a chat and a spin in the new Reasonably Priced car, the Vauxhall Astra.

Writes Jalopnik: “We finally have confirmation that Ron Howard is not The Stig.”

While he’s shown a cinematic interest in cars, Howard appeared in a behind-the-scenes exclusive bonus video in which he said: “I don’t think that high performance driving is a sort of label that’s ever necessarily been connected with my name. I know this about myself.”

While Howard may not be known as a fast driver, his new movie is all about speed. Here’s the latest featurette about Rush:

• Also on next week’s Top Gear: James May visits the historic BBC TV Centre to deliver a final farewell — with a motorcyclist and a pair of parkour runners. Plus Richard Hammond conducts his own international taxi survey; and the Liverpool-made BAC Mono, the world’s first single-seated, road-legal mass-produced race car is given its television debut.

And, for your perusal, here’s the British version of the trailer for the episode:

But you’ll get the most detailed info about the episode from this intro by Jeremy Clarkson himself, via

• Coming up on the July 22 episode of Top Gear: Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch will be the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

The Mirror quoted a “show insider” as saying, “It’s great to have Benedict on the show, and no doubt he’ll want to do better than his Star Trek co-star Simon Pegg, who joined us in 2011.”

• Last week’s Top Gear season 20 premiere also marked a social media first of sorts. It’s the first time that a network has offered in-Tweet branded videos synced to an entertainment series, said a BBC AMERICA press release.

There were two tweeted videos. The first was called a “Stig Cam,” which gave a Stig’s-eye-view of the Top Gear track:

The second tweeted video was an “action replay” of one of the show’s highlights:

Here’s another excerpt from the New Zealand race segment of last week’s show:

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By staff