Chris Harris: Top Gear host recalls the dangerous event that sparked ‘bug for speed’

Top Gear: Chris Harris drives Stirling Moss' Lotus on the track

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Chris Harris, 46, is convinced he knows the exact point in his life where he realised he was destined to work with fast cars, but it’s a slightly dangerous memory to say the least. But the scary event has led him down a path that has given him the opportunities he may not have had if he hadn’t of had that little “exhilarating” push from the off-set.

We were hurtling along at over 100mph and it was utterly exhilarating!

Chris Harris

In a recent interview, the Top Gear presenter recalled the first time he travelled over 100mph in a vehicle – but it wasn’t for fun.

He remembered sitting in the back of his dad Ian’s dark-blue BMW 323i on the way home from a weekend break in Paris.

“It was 1980 and, due to lots of political protests, we got tear-gassed in the Paris Metro,” he said.

“I remember running out, crying, and because of the delay we had to race to catch the hovercraft home.

“We were hurtling along at over 100mph and it was utterly exhilarating!”

He continued to tell Radio Times: “This box-on-wheels was making the most terrific screaming noise.

“I’m convinced that’s when I first got the bug for speed.”

The recollection comes as the new series of the BBC car show is set to return to our screens on Sunday 14th March.

It’s understood that the first episode will be a tribute to the boys’ dads; Colin Flintoff, Ian Harris and Joe McGuinness, with Freddie, Chris and Paddy taking a jaunt through the Lake District in replicas of their dads’ cars.

Freddie will hop back in his dad’s nostaligic Ford Cortina 1.6 GL, Paddy will get reaquainted with the family’s yellow Ford Fiesta 1.1 and Chris will try his hand at driving the BMW.

Releasing a teaser trailer on Twitter, it looks like this season will be jam-packed with more high-jinks and risky challenges, along with jet packs and belly flops.

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While some fans still mourned the departure of former hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the majority were over the moon with excitement that the current trio would be returning soon.

Taking to the comments section, one wrote: “Looking forward to this you guys are great at doing top gear.”

Second agreed: “Cannot wait!!! I love these 3 guys!”

“So looking forward to the start of this series,” a third gave a thumbs up.

The full interview with all three presenters is available to read now in Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]

A fourth added: “Yippee can’t wait, this sort of humour tv is needed.”

The full interview with all three presenters is available to read now in Radio Times.

Top Gear returns on Sunday 14th March at 8pm one BBC One.

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