While Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May seem to be the perfect trio in front of the camera, there was a secret to their humour sat behind the camera, feeding them the iconic lines we all remember.
This secret is Richard Porter. No, not the crack dealer from Harlem, the script editor of The Grand Tour, and before that, Top Gear.
Porter has been a large part of the driving force behind the jokes, witticisms and catch phrases that we have all grown to love since he started working with Top Gear from the get go in 2002. Since then, he hasn’t received the credit he deserves, so hopefully this piece will work on pushing him to the top.
Unfortunately, the comedic genius hasn’t followed The Grand Tour crew as they move to their new episode structure of specials-only, but instead is working with companies such as Goodwood to bring you incredibly interesting factoids laced with the humour that we remember from Top Gear.
He can also be found alongside Jonny Smith, a presenter from Fifth Gear who now has started his own successful YouTube channel. It’s brilliant and well worth a watch.
Richard enjoyed his time on Top Gear, but the famous ‘fracas’ between Jeremy Clarkson and Oison Tymon caused issues between him and the presenter.
He said the following in his memoir:
“Jeremy had let us down. The reward for the team’s hard work was a smack in the chops.
Porter had written about this low point of Top Gear in his book, ‘And On That Bombshell’, later being praised by Clarkson – even if it took a few jabs at him!
“He was very good about the fact I’d pointed all of this stuff out and called him a bit of an arse,” says Porter. “He sort of acknowledged it was a momentary lapse of reason. We made up without being too emotional about it, and then he said, ‘You should come back and do some stuff with us.’ He didn’t have to do that: he could have told me to sod off forever. I was actually quite pleased.”
Before this, though, Porter was approached to write for the new Top Gear, even being approached by Chris Evans during his time on the car show. Fortunately he said no, and continued working with Clarkson, Hammond, and May.
While he doesn’t write for The Grand Tour anymore, you can find his writing in his EVO column, or on his own site Sniff Petrol.