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Q&A with Paddy McGuinness on the new series of Top Gear

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For the new series, you have made a very touching film with the stunt motorcyclist Eddie Kidd OBE…

It was great to make that because there will be kids out there who have never heard of him. He had an amazing career. Even though I’m a huge fan, I wasn’t aware he had stunt doubled for James Bond and Harrison Ford. The mad thing is that, apart from the grey hair, he still looks the same. He’s a very good-looking bloke. He’s still got a twinkle in his eye and a naughty sense of humour. He has just spent two days trolling me. It’s happening all the time!

But the celebration we did for him was tremendous. I think for his family and the stunt riders who performed it was a big moment. Eddie had no idea that he was the reason all those performers got into it. That sequence is a terrific journey. It’s very cinematic and the music’s great. It’s a treat of a film.

Tell us about the ‘hot lap’ where you have to eat increasingly spicy chillies while driving round a circuit.

I’m the worst person in the world with spice. I struggle with brown sauce! It burns my lips. I know the other two lads love the old chilli and really embrace hot food. I thought ‘I’m not going to get anywhere here,’ so I just sat back and watched them hurt themselves internally! And very amusing it was, too!

Did you feel stressed when you had to drive in front of a full grandstand at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix weekend?

Yes. There was pressure all day long. The producers were saying ‘you’ve only got an hour here. You’ve got to be off the track at the end of that, and not do this and not do that’. The pressure built up and up. We all had our cars for a couple of days beforehand. Driving around then was no problem. But when we go onto the track, the pressure suddenly kicked in…

Do you have a favourite moment from this series?

It was definitely the chilli challenge. That’s the most we’ve laughed this series. It’s a shame, because you don’t see most of that on the telly!

Why do you think you work so well together as a trio?

Our chemistry comes naturally. You watch a lot of shows and people are striving for that chemistry. But it either happens or it doesn’t, and from the off it just happened for us without even trying. Even when we were messing about together before we had even filmed an episode, it was insane. Nothing is off limits with us. We have a great laugh off camera, as well as on it. I think that’s why it’s been such a success – because people believe us. Long may it continue!