Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond branded ‘schoolboy-like divas’ by Top Gear colleague
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Phillipa Sage has opened up on her time as “PA, gofer and fixer” to three of the naughtiest and well-known men on TV. Speaking about working with the Top Gear trio for nearly two decades, she claimed to witnessing “girl-throwing” contests in swimming pools, where the presenters competed to see who could throw a female the farthest, before branding Jeremy Clarkson, 61, and Richard Hammond, 51, “schoolboy-like divas” following reported absurd demands during a stay on a private island in New Zealand.
Our naughty, hyperactive schoolboy-like divas weren’t entirely happy
Jeremy and Richard have been branded “schoolboy-like divas” by ex-colleague Phillipa.
For nearly two decades she travelled the world with the stars and in that time witnessed some eyebrow-raising behaviour, she claims.
The assistant recalls one trip with the pair staying at “a secluded house on a private island in New Zealand”, which came complete with its own private beach and boat.
But despite literally staying in paradise, the car fanatics reportedly demanded that board game Risk be presented to them as soon as possible as a way of keeping them entertained.
As a result, the board game was flown on a helicopter from Auckland to the two TV hosts, with Phillipa adding: “Our naughty, hyperactive schoolboy-like divas weren’t entirely happy” beforehand.
Phillipa described her role to the stars as “mother and sister to the three most famous middle-aged, very ‘stupid’, clever and funny men who knew a bit about cars,” which also includes James May.
In another adaptation from her book Off-Road With Clarkson, Hammond and May by Phillipa Sage published by The Sun, the assistant recalled how the trio staged their own production of the infamous Italian Job car stunt in an attempt to increase ticket sales.
In the background of a hectic lifestyle of private superyachts, supermodels and partying in exotic locations, Phillipa claimed that the presenters were given vitamin injections to help them cure their hangovers.
However, the partying lifestyle started to take such a toll on the presenters, that Phillipa recalled James thinking he was having a heart attack after a strenuous stint of shows.
Describing James as the “most gentle presenter”, she told how the star grew worried after an afternoon performance.
After medics gave him the once over, they are said to have confirmed he had thankfully not experienced a heart attack but was suffering from stress and the results of an intense lifestyle.
All it took was a “snooze” before the star declared himself better and went on with the following performance.
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Speaking about the incident, Phillipa said: “As a Top Gear presenter, you were not allowed to be ill and certainly weren’t going to get any sympathy, even if you were close to death.”
She went on to state that the trio went on to complete three more “successful” days and nights of shows.
Phillipa revealed that the presenters favoured a lubricant for the throat, which had become a “necessity” for Jeremy as he “smoked 60 [cigarettes] a day”.
The assistant revealed that she started working with Jeremy in 1997 and quickly became an integral part of the Top Gear family.
The past year has been at odds with the trio’s manic tour lifestyle which saw them visit “18 countries, 31 cities and [perform] to over 2 million fans in arenas and at festivals from New Zealand to Norway”.
However, Jeremy admitted that he has been enjoying lockdown on his 1,000 acre farm surrounded by his loved ones.
Painting a picture of a new lifestyle completely at odds with his hectic tour days, The Grand Tour host admitted that he had become accustomed to life in lockdown in his column for the same publication.
“Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve addressed the issue by sitting on a sofa for six hours a day, eating slabs of Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut chocolate and getting up only to go to the fridge for another bottle of wine,” he candidly admitted.
Express.co.uk has contacted a spokesperson for Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May for comment.
Phillippa’s book Off-Road With Clarkson, Hammond and May is available to buy here.
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