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James May

Updated on December 22, 2011

About James May.

James Daniel May was born on January 16th 1963  in Bristol UK and is currently a television presenter. He is best known as co-presenter of motoring programme Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. He also writes a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph's motoring section. On Top Gear, May is often referred to as "Captain Slow", as he regularly finishes last in high speed track races and generally presents with a laconic style. He has, however, carried out some high-speed driving, including taking a Bugatti Veyron to its top speed of 253 mph (407 km/h).

Personal James.....

James May was born in Bristol but moved around the country in his childhood, spending his teenage years in South Yorkshire, where he attended Oakwood Comprehensive School (now Oakwood Technology College). He regularly attended Whiston Parish Church with his father, where Reverend G. C. Mills was rector. A keen flautist and pianist, he later studied music at Lancaster University. He currently lives in Hammersmith, London, with his cat, Fusker.

More May

During the early 1990s, May worked as a sub-editor for The Engineer and later Autocar magazine. He has written for several publications, including a regular column called England Made Me in CAR magazine and articles for Top Gear Magazine, as well as a weekly column in The Daily Telegraph. He has written a book titled May On Motors, which is a collection of his published articles. In the autumn of 2006, the BBC broadcast Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure, a series in which James, a committed brown beer drinker, travelled around France with wine expert Oz Clarke. May co-authored the book accompanying the series. He has also written the afterword to Long Lane with Turnings, published in September 2006, the final book by motoring legend L. J. K. Setright, and in the same month co-presented a tribute to Raymond Baxter. His new book, Notes From The Hard Shoulder, was published on 26 April 2007.

James on TV

His past television credits include presenting Driven on Channel 4, narrating an eight part BBC One series called Road Rage School, writing and presenting a one-off Christmas special called James May's Top Toys (also for BBC One), and co-hosting the ITV1 coverage of the 2006 London Boat Show. He first co-presented Top Gear in 1999, before it was cancelled by the BBC due to low ratings. He rejoined the show in the second series of the present Top Gear format. On 29 January 2006 he presented Top of the Pops on BBC Two. In August 2006, it was revealed that May has contributed to the online motoring humour magazine Sniff Petrol. He has also presented a documentary for Sky about sharks. In February 2006 and February 2007, May was a guest on the BBC Radio 3 classical music interview programme, Private Passions. He was also a guest on Gordon Ramsay's The F-Word, where he was challenged by Ramsay in two tasks. First by a culinary test: drinking snake whiskey, as well as eating bull's penis and 'Rotting shark'. May won as Ramsay finally vomited whilst eating the shark. Then, May competed against Ramsay in the Celebrity Challenge. They both made fish pie; May won with three votes to Ramsay's two. James also appeared as a guest on Have I Got News for You as a team mate to Ian Hislop, first broadcast on 25 May 2007. James May's 20th Century begins on July 10.

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I have been conducting secret tests and can now confirm that James's Squidoo Lens is definitely the most popular of the Top Gear Team members, Trouncing Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson.

Official-Captain Slow is a Winner!!

May and Cars...

May has owned several cars, including a Bentley T2, a Jaguar XJS, a Range Rover, a Fiat Panda, a Porsche 911, a Porsche Boxster S (May claims this is the first car he has ever purchased new), a Mini Cooper and several motorbikes. He has a penchant for prestige cars like Rolls Royce and Bentley, as well as simple and basic cars.

He obtained a light aircraft pilot's licence in October 2006 having trained at White Waltham Airfield. Although he had not qualified at the time, he was still able to fly a Cessna 182 in a Top Gear challenge, as he had a flight instructor with him. During the race they had to land and continue via Eurostar, as his VFR rating prevented him from night flying at the time, which requires an IFR rating, and a full pilot's licence.

He failed his driving test the first time, but passed on his second attempt.

His favourite things include American hard gums (a type of sweet), brown beer, cats, model trains and Scalextric. He also has a penchant for "nice girls in rubbish cars" as long as they have 'their own breasts'.

Big Wine Adventure!!

I just watched Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure, I have not laughed so hard in ages-Oz Clarke and James went on a month-long trip driving and camping through France trying out loads of Wine and Champagne.

The Looks James gives to camera are a joy to behold and they belie the "Thick and Slow" label attached so cruely to him by Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson, his co-presenters on Top Gear.

The 2 minute talk on French wine and regions he was challenged to do at the end of the programme was incredibly impressive, I have never-ever heard James talk so fast and all his facts were correct-Keep up the good work James, there is a hell of a lot more to you than we (The gullible public) have been led to believe.

I also learned that you can buy a real bottle of champagne, made in a shed in France for less than £9.00 which tastes much better than the £600.00 stuff we are proffered in top-notch restaurants in UK.

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    • danzuc76 profile image

      danzuc76 

      6 years ago

      James May is the key to Top Gear. Top dude. Great lens

    • profile image

      Three-Abreast 

      6 years ago

      Captain Slow is the bomb!

      Oh, and he did also own a Ferrari F430 ;)

    • profile image

      Support-Lounge 

      7 years ago

      What's the chances of getting James May to do a

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      7 years ago

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      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Thumbs up!

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      ElizabethJeanAl 

      9 years ago

      Welcome to the Totally Awesome Lenses Group.

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      9 years ago

      great lens, im a huge fan of James May!

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      10 years ago

      James May is the best TG presenter there is You might like the pics over here www.jamesmaysmut.com

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