Councillor points out 'irony' as Top Gear filming moves to Upper Coquet Valley

The Top Gear stars and crew were spotted filming the final leg of their Northumberland adventure in the remote Upper Coquet Valley on Sunday morning (May 16).

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 9:10 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 11:44 pm

Frontmen Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris were seen racing 4x4 electric cars on Bamburgh beach on Wednesday (May 12).

And as they moved on to Seahouses, several fans were able to meet the TV show’s presenters and take their pictures.

But the irony of testing-driving electric cars in the latest, most rural of locations was not lost on recently re-elected local county councillor Steven Bridgett.

Top Gear filming in Upper Coquet Valley. Picture by Steven Bridgett.

"They had to bring with them a generator to charge the vehicles they were testing out because not only does the Upper Coquet Valley not have charging points or any means of connecting them to a property or building, none of the properties are actually connected to mains electricity,” he pointed out.

“We live in one of the richest and most technologically advanced countries in the world and we have homes that aren’t connected to the mains electricity grid and are powered by generators and that is no fault of the people who live in those properties.

“I’m sure Top Gear got some brilliant shots from some of the most scenic landscapes in Northumberland but equally, those areas top the list for some of the most impoverished areas in the United Kingdom when it comes to fuel poverty.

“Those advocating a ‘green/electric revolution’ in the motor industry may want to remember that not everywhere (especially areas like Upper Coquetdale that gets tens of thousands of visitors a year) has the means to power these electric vehicles given that most of the people who live there still have generators powering their homes.

The vehicles used in the Top Gear filming in the Upper Coquet Valley. Picture by Steven Bridgett.

“And surely, using a diesel generator to power an electric car defeats the object of electric powered vehicles?”

Top Gear is a BBC One programme that examines and reviews primarily cars, and features motoring-based challenges, special races, timed laps of notable cars and celebrity timed laps. It’s line-up of presenters has changed a few times since the departure of its original presenter Jeremy Clarkson in 2015, but it remains one of the BBC's most commercially successful programmes.

A filming car used by the Top Gear crew in Upper Coquet Valley.
The generator used by the Top Gear crew while filming in Upper Coquet Valley. Picture by Steven Bridgett.