Well, Cameron Diaz is annoying. Tom Cruise is weird. But mostly he’s weird because he should be so very good. But then he’s weird and that makes him weirder. But when he’s on, he’s very good. Anyway it’s nice to hear this:
Two hours, however, turned out to be nowhere near early enough for what Tom had in mind. He set a lap time in a shower, but then the sun came out so he wanted to go again and see how he’d do on a dry track. The billion Fox people realised this would throw their schedule into disarray and immediately all of them whipped out their BlackBerrys to talk to Battersea heliport.
Then he decided he wanted a go in the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. Out came the BlackBerrys again. “Can we land a private jet on the Mall?” One of them explained that he had a premiere to attend that night but Tom didn’t seem that bothered. “I’ll get changed in the car,” he said.
You might imagine Cameron was different. She wasn’t. She wanted to do doughnuts. She wanted to try the new hot BMW Z4. She wanted to chat. Tom wanted to chat. Not just to me, but to the people who brought them things. To everyone. The researchers. Even James May. The BlackBerrys were melting.
Eventually we started the show and we had to talk about vomit and that went on for a lot longer than I’d thought. And then a member of the audience fainted and Tom was out of his seat, making sure the poor man was all right. And the billion people from Fox were probably thinking: “Can we just shoot him and get on with it?”
But Tom was having none of that and, once the man was all right, he sat back down and we talked about his Mustang P-51 (that’s a second world war fighter plane) and Cameron talked about how she’s broken her nose four times and how a lot of stuff goes into her face. And then we talked more about sick. And then they were ushered by the Fox people into the waiting cars to get up to London for the premiere of Knight and Day, the film they’re promoting. But Tom wasn’t quite finished. “Would it be possible to have an ‘I am the Stig’ T-shirt?” he wondered. And so we gave him one and he was gone. And we did the rest of the show and then I drove home.
It was a very good Top Gear. That bit at the end about Ayrton Senna was a fine piece of journalism. I’d never seen them do anything like it on this show. I loved that they mentioned his good deeds and religion but, and you might want to pay attention to this in the back, NBC, they didn’t turn it into a soft-focus-swelling-violins piece about him hugging grannies and children. They stuck to the racing.
He died in 1994, when I was about to graduate from the 8th grade. And I never heard of him before in my life. But then I suppose Italian formula one races were very far away at the time.