I survived Top Gear's utterly terrifying gravity-defying Wall Of Death stunt

Top Gear’s Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris take on the Wall Of Death in tonight’s episode. And, although I survived the stunt myself, I can confirm it’s completely and utterly terrifying.

Fans of the BBC One show first got a glimpse of the toe-curling challenge in the trailer for the new series, in which Freddie described it as ‘brilliantly stupid’. Paddy on the other hand, who had already crashed a Lamborghini Diablo while filming, was a lot less thrilled.

‘They’ve gone, “How can we get the ratings? We’ll kill them all”,’ he said as he bore witness to the overwhelming circuit. He later confessed the hosts ‘nearly died’ after having completed the task.

I too can attest to Paddy’s fears. Arriving at Alexandra Palace, I was oblivious at the monstrous stunt that awaited me, having only been told I was invited by the BBC to a Top Gear ‘experience’.

Little did I know, that I’d soon be face-to-face with the huge carnival ride, that vaguely reminded me of the circular cage Homer Simpson had to tackle on a motorbike in The Simpsons Movie. The only difference was I wasn’t about to do floor to ceiling loop-de-loops. Lucky me.

Having put on a safety helmet and passed the Covid-19 checks, I was walked over to the dome and introduced to my driver and the kart that I’d soon be defying gravity in.

Unlike Freddie, Paddy and Chris, who had to take on The Wall Of Death in insurance write-off old bangers, I was chauffeured around the Wheel Of Death by a professional stunt driver in a little buggy. My driver proudly told me he could stay up there on the wall for ‘a couple of hours at the right speed, just so long as he’s fed.’ Oh, and that he started cracking the daredevil ride aged 11.

In total, the experience lasted just over one minute and honestly, I wasn’t upset that it didn’t go on for longer. Throughout the ride, video footage appears to show I was rather relaxed thanks to my adrenaline presenting itself through bouts of nervous laughter. Inside, I was sh****g myself. Quickly reaching speeds of over 40mph, I was soon getting dizzy beyond belief. Thankfully though, I wasn’t in the driver’s seat because I almost certainly would have easily blacked out and/or lost control.

Just as the going got bearable, it was time to come back down again.

Top Gear’s Wall Of Death stunt has been half a decade in the making. The show’s executive producer Alex Renton first touted the idea five years ago and given Paddy, Chris and Freddie’s willingness to take on any death-defying challenge thrown in their direction, it made sense to turn this idea into a reality for the 29th series.

I managed to take on The Wall Of Death and not faint before, after or during – but I wasn’t even driving. So major kudos to Paddy, Chris and Freddie for stepping up to the plate and confronting the megastructure solo. It’s no easy ride, that’s for sure.

Top Gear airs tonight at 8pm on BBC One.

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