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James May revs up to top gear for latest challenge in Devon

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 27, 2012

  • SPOTTED: James May with Journal reader Dave Bocock.

  • HIGH PROFILE: James May is spotted leaving Ilfracombe in his yellow Ferrari. Jacquie Watson

  • PLANNING STRATEGY: James May and the television crew at Brimlands playing fields. Dave Bocock

  • PLAYING SAFE: James May with mechanic Leigh Hanks while on a visit to Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station.

  • James May filming in Ilfracombe and, top right, with lifeboatman Leigh Hanks

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TV presenter James May brought his latest crazy challenge to Devon as he attempted to fly a remote controlled glider across the Bristol Channel.

Top Gear's Captain Slow was spotted at Ilfracombe Rugby Club and the seafront filming scenes for his latest BBC series of James May's Toy Stories.

The floppy-haired presenter, who has previously filmed two Toy Stories episodes in North Devon, was also seen on a boat around Ilfracombe Harbour.

He was also spotted driving around the town in a bright yellow Ferrari 458 Italia, estimated to be worth more than £150,000.

Mr May's latest challenge saw him attempt to guide a remote controlled glider, complete with a miniature James May model pilot wearing a flowery shirt, from Ilfracombe to Swansea.

Ilfracombe resident Dave Bocock saw a lot of activity on Brimlands playing field and spoke to one of the programme's producers. He said: "The object of the exercise was to fly a standard remote controlled glider across the Bristol Channel.

"This involved suspending the glider from a specially built cage slung underneath a helicopter and taken to a height of approximately 11,000ft before being released.

"A second helicopter contained a camera crew and the glider operator.

"In the meantime James May and his crew rushed off to the harbour to follow progress in a speedboat and recover the glider if necessary."

Dave added: "James was very busy but I did notice that he always made time for local children turning up for autographs and photos throughout the two days."

Mr May also paid a visit to Ilfracombe lifeboat station where he spoke to RNLI mechanic and deputy coxswain Leigh Hanks. Mr May told the crew they did a wonderful job but said he hoped not to see them again over the next few days.

He said: "I still have some filming at sea to do and I wouldn't want to meet the lifeboat crew professionally."

The programme will be aired some time before Christmas.

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