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Top Gear Three Wise Men episode Middle East Special Season 16 Episode

The Christmas special of 2010 (26/12/10) sees the Top Gear team; Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson retrace the steps of the three wise men.


Travelling from northern Iraq to a stable in Bethlehem, using second-hand two-seater convertibles bought for £3,500. As Israel will not allow cars registered in its surrounding neighbours to enter its borders, they must buy cars from Georgia before flying to their destination in an Ilyushin Il-76TD cargo plane.

The Cars

  • Jeremy buys a Mazda MX-5,
  • Richard a Fiat Barchetta
  • James a BMW Z3.

As in previous challenges, a spare car is provided to any presenter whose car breaks down. For this challenge, that car is an Opel Astra convertible – a car loathed by all three presenters.

They unanimously declare Richard’s Fiat to be the best car, because James hated the transmission of his Z3, which he described as having gear ratios so spread out that he could fit another gearbox between them, and Jeremy did not develop an attachment to the MX-5.

That night they finally make it to Bethlehem, where they arrive at a nativity scene with gifts they have purchased in Syria: a gold-relief medallion, a bottle of hotel shampoo labelled frankincense and a Nintendo DSi because Jeremy could not find any myrrh. They peel back the covers on the manger to discover that the baby Jesus is actually a baby Stig.


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