The reaction of people when I tell them that I am a motorsport journalist is usually met with total surprise. Maybe it is my age, or the fact that I don’t “look” like I would be interested in motorsport, but usually it’s the fact that I am a woman. The responses are never negative though, normally a reference to Suzi Perry or Lee McKenzie and words along the lines of “wow, that is different.” I always find it funny though because, to me, my gender isn’t really relevant to how I do my job – it never has been and it never will be.
As many of you will know, back in February I was lucky enough to attend the filming for the new BBC series of Top Gear. Like many of you reading this, I have been a fan of the show for years, with it often being the highlight on a Sunday. However last series failed to impress not only me, but millions of you. It was reported that the final episode from last year’s series, fronted by Radio DJ Chris Evans, saw viewing figures plummet to an average of 1.9 million – the lowest ratings the show has seen in its history.
After rival motoring show The Grand Tour, put together by and fronted by original Top Gear members Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, had finished its 13 episodes, adverts for the new series of the BBC show started to appear on television and online. Evans was out and it seemed like this could be the last opportunity to get tickets to filming. I scouted out LostInTV.com and requested two tickets to a filming day. Within two weeks of applying for tickets, I was at Dunsfold Park ready to head into the famous studio.
I am not a morning person. Alarm clocks and caffeine struggle to motivate me to get out of bed and start the day, however the idea of a long line of Italian supercars parked around one of the UK’s best-loved motor racing circuit works every time.