Top Gear presenter Chris Harris has opened up about how the show has evolved since Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness joined the BBC One series, explaining that he thinks the "language of the show" has changed.
Paddy and Freddie joined returning presenter Chris for series 27 of the hit motoring programme and, ahead of the show returning for its 28th series next year, the trio will be back to host a one-off Christmas special later this month.
The festive episode will see Chris, Freddie and Paddy embark on a dangerous route from Kathmandu to the Forbidden Kingdom, with the trio navigating some treacherous roads on the journey.
But Chris has told Digital Spy that at no point did any of them consider leaving anyone behind, particularly when it came to some potentially tricky situations during filming.
"When Paddy's on the radio going, 'This next bit doesn't look good, boys' – he's out spotting for us," Chris explained.
"Because, you know, it would have been inappropriate for him to get out there and go, 'Alright, lads. I hope you fall off'. You wouldn't do that, would you?
"We're not trying to act," he continued. "We're responding to situations the way we respond to them as human beings. Our natural response is, actually, to stop and help people.
"The language of the show previously was quite often: 'Well, you're in trouble. I'm going to leave you, because it's funny – and I'm off.' But actually, a couple of times, that would have been probably good content for us, but we just don't do it, because we want to stay and help."
He continued to say that he thinks he, Paddy and Freddie "strike a good balance, in that it's not what came before".
"It's important that we have our own identity," Chris added. "I think it's not too sickly sweet and cloying and too nice to each other. It's not so offensive that people will think we're being horrible to each other.
"I think it strikes a good balance. We're hard when we need to be hard. We're supportive when we need to be supportive. That's what mates are about, isn't it? I expect my mates to be the first ones to kick me when I'm done, but to pick me up when I'm really down."
In the Christmas special, Paddy will be taking on the drive to the Forbidden Kingdom in a Peugeot Rally Car, with Chris in a Renault and Freddie in a van – but that doesn't mean that the Top Gear trio thought it was the most dangerous road they'd ever driven on.
"You could argue that the M25 on a Friday night is more dangerous, can't you?" Chris added.
"It's how you define dangerous. In terms of a road that constantly reminds you that you shouldn’t really be there? Yeah, that's what it does. You just think, 'Blimey, this is outrageous'."
Paddy added: "Yeah, but do you know what undercuts that when we were there, and you do go, 'This is extremely— this is really dangerous'. Then all of a sudden, a family come past on a motorbike or something.
"You're like, 'Actually, I don’t think it is that dangerous'. You know, it sort of undercuts it, because that's their life. That's what they do every day. So to them, it's just a regular road."
The Top Gear Christmas special will air on BBC Two on Sunday, December 29.
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