Porter, one of the SPCA's driving dogs.
The BBC car show Top Gear is coming to New Zealand to
film our world-famous driving dogs.
It is understood presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and
The Stig will travel to the country during the show's trip
Downunder for the Top Gear Festival on March 9 and 10 at
Eastern Creek, on the outskirts of Sydney.
May let it slip in an interview this week that a segment
would be filmed here, but not in Australia.
"I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but we are going
to film a little bit but it's going to be in New Zealand," he
"I can tell you the word Australia is written on a big
whiteboard in the office where we jot down things we'd like
to do. It's a fairly obvious one to do for a big road trip."
The SPCA said last month it had received an email from Top
Gear after Porter, a 10-month-old beardie cross, and Monty, a
giant schnauzer cross, got behind the wheel of a Mini
Countryman and drove down an Auckland racetrack for the TV
The pair and another dog, Ginny, a year-old beardie whippet,
had an eight-week driving course as part of a campaign by the
SPCA to show rescued dogs were as intelligent as any other
The dogs made headlines and a video of them was the
most-watched on the BBC website for days.
SPCA chief executive Christine Kalin said yesterday the
organisation was working with Top Gear researchers and the
final details of filming were yet to be confirmed.
"We are flattered that Top Gear has recognised the efforts by
all involved to show just how intelligent SPCA dogs are and
we hope that even more people consider adopting one of their
own as a result."
The Australian branch of the BBC was not forthcoming about
"They don't reveal details of where they're filming so
unfortunately I can't help you any more," said a spokeswoman.
Top Gear has visited New Zealand a handful of times. Clarkson
and Richard Hammond came for the theatre show Top Gear Live
in 2009 and Clarkson and May returned for the 2010 show.
- Alanah Eriksen of the NZ Herald