Robinson meets Top Gear hosts

Jacob Noseworthy interviews Alex Robinson, a local Grade 12 student who travelled to Traill to meet the hosts of the popular program.

Alex Robinson (second from left) is flanked by Top Gear hosts Richard Hammond

By Jacob Noseworthy

On Sunday, Nov.23, local Grade 12 student Alex Robinson had an experience he will not soon forget: meeting the hosts of Top Gear, a popular show on BBC showcasing vehicles from around the world, and holding the distinction of most watched factual program.

Between a whirlwind trip to the Trail airport, a meet-and-greet with the hosts, and an interview on Global BC, it was a jam-packed day for Robinson.

It was a normal Sunday morning for Robinson, working around his parents’ motel, Johnny’s, and preparing for school the next morning. As he was doing some cleaning and watching YouTube videos, he received a text message from his friend Travis that said, “Look at Jeremy Clarkson’s Twitter.”

Upon inspection of Top Gear’s star, Jeremy Clarkson’s Twitter account, Alex discovered that Clarkson along with his fellow hosts James May and Richard Hammond were marooned in Trail after filming the Hennessy VelociRaptor in the snowy terrain.

Robinson was incredibly excited, and immediately asked his dad to drive him to Trail to meet the cast. “My dad was excited, I didn’t see it coming,” Robinson said upon asking him. They quickly hopped in the car and drove the over 100-kilometre journey.

Unfortunately, upon their arrival in Trail, Alex and his father didn’t know where to look for Clarkson. After a quick search of the shops and restaurants in downtown Trail, he realized that if the Top Gear cast were hoping to leave, they’d be at the airport. After arriving at the airport, “jumping out of the car before it was even parked, and going to a lot of places I shouldn’t have been,” Robinson finally managed to find his idols eating Chinese food in the small building beside the runway.

“I walked right up to them, stuck my hand out, and introduced myself,” Robinson remembered.

Despite meeting the three British Knights, when asked about how he felt about meeting the international stars, he replied, “For the first five seconds I felt starstruck, but they also felt really familiar, like I knew them.”

He attributes the familiarity to the fact he has been watching their program with his dad since he was eight in England.

While only spending half a minute with three of his “favourite celebs”, Robinson was able to take a picture with the three, and speak with them. “They were exactly like they are on TV. Jeremy wasn’t sociable, spending the whole time on his phone, and I told Richard that he ‘looked a lot shorter than he did on TV.'”

Despite having the time of his life, Robinson laughed and said, “They didn’t enjoy it as much as I did.”

Clarkson did not really interact with Robinson; Robinson made fun of Hammond’s height, “an ongoing joke on the show”; and he hugged May, while learning of his phobia of being touched by fans after the experience.

But soon their plane arrived, and the hosts left with only a wave from Clarkson as he ascended the steps.

After the experience, Robinson soon tweeted a picture of him with the three BBC stars, which was quickly picked up by Global BC. After returning home, Robinson was quickly connected to Global via Skype and live on BC1, Global’s 24 hour news network.

He was absolutely ecstatic to be on the air. “I was amped to get my voice out there and be a part of something.” However, through an error on Global’s end, they misquoted Alex as having said, “…they were all there having some pitchers.”

When questioned, Robinson laughed and responded, “They’re not that big of alcoholics, what I really said was ‘We were all there having some pictures.'”

Despite the misquote, he really enjoyed the experience, and later went on to also be interviewed by the Huffington Post BC.

To sum up what provoked him to travel to Trail to chance an encounter with the three men, Robinson said, “Take every chance you can to do something big with your life.”

He is still waiting to be contacted by Ellen DeGeneres for an interview on her show.

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