Full Chat podcast: Steve Berry on not wanting to host Top Gear 

Steve Berry

Former Top Gear presenter, turned radio DJ Steve Berry is the latest guest on the motorcycling podcast Full Chat. 

Berry is best known for his time presenting Top Gear between 1993 and 1999, and being a radio DJ on BBC Radio 5 Live before taking on his current role as a regular guest on the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2.  
He is the latest guest on Bikesure’s new podcast, hosted by former Olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas and footballer-turned-presenter David Prutton, after Michelin star chef Paul Ainsworth, former athlete and television personality Kriss Akabusi, Isle of Man TT racer Peter Hickman, Olympic hero James Cracknell and presenter Billy Ward

Steve Berry reveals why he wasn’t fussed about presenting Top Gear 

During the episode, Berry revealed how he already the gig of his dreams, before randomly being asked to present a weekly feature on Top Gear. 

When asked whether presenting the BBC hit TV show was his dream job, Berry replied: “Not really!”, drawing laughter from Prutton and Thomas. 

“When I got the gig, I sort of had my dream job already. I got it (Top Gear) by chance. I was working as the editor of Streetfighters magazine, which was the sort of early 90s version of custom bike magazines. 

“Me and my younger mates had noticed there was a trend for people to modify four-cylinder Japanese sports bikes, that had either been crashed or were unloved or stuck at the back of a garage somewhere.

“I was in the office, in Hale, which was the home of britain’s third largest motorcycle publishing company, who had about a dozen titles at the time; Classic Bike Guide, Back Street Heroes, Scootering, Streetfighters and others.

“I went to the boss who sort of graduated from having a bike to having an Aston Martin, and said to him ‘hey listen there’s this new craze called street fighters.’ And he was clever enough that even though he had moved on (from biking) that it was the next big thing, which it was for a few years. 

“So I did that for a few years, but because I was the only one who came into the office from the north, everyone else came in from the south, it was my job to get a pint of milk in the morning for our brews.

“And in the newsagents where I used to go, there was this bloke who also used to go in there called Dennis that I would chat to, and I was always on a different bike and he asked me about the Yamaha I had at the time.

“And he said ‘you do know who I am don’t you?’ And I said ‘yeah you’re Dennis, nice man, you live locally and you’ve got an old man BMW.’ He said ‘I’m the producer of Top Gear’, I said ‘very good’ and walked out the shop. 

“I think he thought ‘how dare he not be all over me and asking me for an audition.’ But I was 25, and the editor of a monthly motorbike magazine. I could ring up virtually any manufacturer and get them to send round whatever bike I wanted to ride.

“And people forget Top Gear was a really dull sort of consumer show for many, many years before it became cool.”     

More episodes of Full Chat to come

There’s extra episodes to come from our motorcycling podcast as series one continues at pace.What celebrity guests will detail their history of bikes, along with some funny anecdotes before the season is out?  

You can listen to Full Chat on Spotify, Apple, YouTube or various other platforms if you want to see what all the fuss is about.

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August 8, 2023