James may still dating sarah frater

The catalogue of his current or former cars reads like a motorhead’s wish-list, including Porsches, Bentleys, Rolls Royces and, um, Fiat Pandas.

James Daniel May (born 16 January 1963) is an English television presenter and journalist.

I mean, they even gave us bullet-proof jackets.’” Their mission was to retrace the journey of the Three Wise Men in a BMW, a Fiat and a Mazda, picking up gold, frankincense and myrrh on their way to the Holy Land.

Bethlehem was a mere 1,200 miles away but, as the instructions helpfully pointed out, “between here and there, there are a few wars” – a fact not entirely lost on May.

James’ interest in transport doesn’t stop at cars - so much so in fact that in 2006 he pulled out all the stops and earned himself a pilot’s license after training at White Waltham Airfield in Berkshire. May’s journalism career began with the printed word, but in 1992 his stint at Autocar came to a rather abrupt end.

Owning his very own plane is one thing, but how flash is it to have a personalised plate on your set of wings? Sick to the back teeth of putting together the Road Test Year Book our Jimmy decided to get creative and spell out a secret message, along the lines of ‘this is a pain in the arse’.

And the surprises don’t end there - to make a little pocket money during his studies James used to dress as a medieval minstrel and play banquets. While James was singing his little heart out in the choir in Rotherham a future colleague was cutting his teeth in the same city - the northern town is the place which gave a young Mr Clarkson his journalistic break.

That’s not the only showbiz link the young James had - he went to school with Dean Andrews who would go on to muck about with cars, long hair and leather jackets himself in the BBC’s Life on Mars.

“I found myself thinking, ‘We could get shot at, or kidnapped.’” Iran refused them entry: the BBC is banned there.South-east Turkey was dicey because of the war with Kurdish separatists.They took the precaution of shooting at Clarkson’s MX5 to see if it could withstand gunfire, though he wasn’t behind the wheel at the time (“It was tempting, but the paperwork would have been enormous”).While he may not be the next Ted Hankey we’re hoping his arrows skills will one day make their way onto Top Gear, perhaps with Clarko as a moving target.James’ nickname Captain Slow, thanks to his, how shall we put this, cautious approach to motoring may be well-earned but it hasn’t stopped him from splashing out on some pretty fast pieces of motor.

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