SO for the first time in its history I actually watched an entire episode of Top Gear.

Perhaps emotionally scarred from the retro days of Tiff Needell et al, when my dad made us sit through what seemed to be eight hour episodes of people driving, just driving, I never subscribed to its matey new approach either.

James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson then breathed new life into the show with their zany challenges and invitation to famous types to have a go in their reasonably priced car.

And I still didn’t get it.

Not even when Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz were on.

And I certainly didn’t want to watch Chris Evans going on about cars, even if he was accompanied by former Friends star Matt Le Blanc.

Chris didn’t last long, there are rumours he struggled to drive and speak to camera at the same time, but Matt stuck around long enough to lift the ratings a bit.

But now the unthinkable has happened - they have actually hired presenters with a bit of chemistry.

Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff might not be everyone’s cup of tea - but they certainly are entertaining.

Having caught the tail end of the launch episode, it was enough to draw me back in again to watch them put electric cars through their paces this week.

Much of this is just three men mucking about in a variety of vehicles, Chris Harris having stayed behind to keep Paddy and Freddie in check.

Their competitive nature just stops short of being uncomfortable and there is a genuine camaraderie between them.

Some new features, the celebrities now also take part in a challenge where they speed through a car park barrier going up and down and hope it doesn’t smash into them, join the tried and tested ones and the studio scenes are nicely interspersed with recorded pieces.

Paddy and Freddie seem to be able to drive and talk at the same time.

Admittedly, some of it does come perilously close to being a bit boys giving each other wedgies in the playground.

Funny as it was, being on at 8pm kids are going to be watching them making Chris drink a glass of milk whilst they gave him an electric shock, as a forfeit for coming last in their challenge.

He laughed along but it looked like it hurt and probably wasn’t necessary.

Wearing the long sleeved winter jumper last year while they drove through Ethiopia was less like accidentally tuning into a Ealing comedy about 1950s boarding schools.

They just about get away with mercilessly teasing each other as they all seem to bear the brunt of it at some point but it might wear thin as the series goes on.

If the whole thing is less about new cars coming on to the market, many of which most normal people wouldn’t or couldn’t buy, these days it is at least getting us to think about technology and our own connections to the motor trade.

Each of the trio last week had to travel across Africa in the first model of car they ever bought.

Flintoff’s was a Porsche Boxter. Of Course.

But the other two had what you would expect for first cars, a mini and an Escort Mark II which they deemed the best overall.

And I will admit, despite not being even slightly close to a person who bothers about cars, it did get me whimsically thinking back to my own first car.

Surprisingly, not a Porsche but a mini Metro.