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James May’s Manx Meccano challenge to hit TV screens

James May and Oz Clarke on their Meccano motorbike and sidecar

James May and Oz Clarke on their Meccano motorbike and sidecar

The much-awaited documentary James May’s Toy Stories: The Motorcycle Diary will be screened this week.

Much of the programme was filmed in August during the Manx Grand Prix.

It involved the Top Gear star completing a lap of the Mountain Course on a motorbike and sidecar built of Meccano alongside co-presenter Oz Clarke.

The bike, comprising thousands of pieces of Meccano, was constructed by Toy Stories project manager, inventor and engineer Simeon Oakley, popularly known as Simmy, over nine weeks – and had not been properly tested before it took to the TT course.

During the challenge, Mr May told Isle of Man Newspapers: ‘You think the darn thing’s going to fall apart and that would be embarrassing with no Christmas special!

‘I have to treat it very gently. Meccano is a toy, full of holes and very weak.

‘In TV there is a lot of false jeopardy. But we genuinely have not really tested this.’

The show will feature on BBC2 on Friday at 9pm.

 

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