Kerry in full throttle as Matt LeBlanc and ‘Top Gear’ roll into town

The people of Kerry are used to welcoming celebrities and yesterday was no exception when the new Top Gear team yesterday arrived for the weekend to film part of the BBC motoring show along the southwest coast.

Kerry in full throttle as Matt LeBlanc and ‘Top Gear’ roll into town

The sun obliged as Matt LeBlanc arrived in style in a blue convertible Rolls Royce but nothing could outshine the majesty of Ladies’ View and the dramatic views over the lakes of Killarney.

Top Gear chose the spot named after Victorian Royal Ladies to kick off their filming in Kerry.

Amid tight security and a Garda presence, the afternoon was at the magnificent viewing spot, so called after it was used by the royal retinue during Queen Victoria’s 1861 visit to the town.

The area is on the approach to the Moll’s Gap internationally acclaimed rallying point. It was a hive of activity with road workers clearing boulders and a film crew of around 15 on hand.

The former Friends star, along with fellow host Chris Evans, are spending the weekend motoring along the coast.

The official Twitter account for The Wild Atlantic way tweeted LeBlanc a video of the coastal touring route, which shows 38 Porsche enthusiasts driving the 2,500km length of the west coast of Ireland.

Clearly impressed by what he saw, LeBlanc retweeted it along with the message: “Looks like an awesome drive.”

Anxious to sample the wonders of Kerry gaelic football, the Top Gear team are due to arrive today at the Gaeltacht GAA grounds at Gallarus on the Dingle peninsula where a match between An Ghaeltacht and Dingle is being staged for them.

Dingle GAA took to Facebook to explain that a special match had been arranged for the Top Gear team.

“We in Dingle GAA, have been asked to help out. A game between A Dingle Selection and An Ghaeltacht Selection will be played in Gallarus at 10am. (All ages between 18 & 50 ish are welcome to participate in the match). Spectators are also required to attend for the filming of The Game. All are welcome. Those who are available to tog out bring Boots & Togs we will have Jerseys.”

The visit has been welcomed by local TD Brendan Griffin. “Major programmes and films such as Star Wars’ visit to the Skelligs, and now Top Gear’s trip to Kerry, draw attention to the area and their importance cannot be underestimated.

"This is a free showcase for our spectacular county and culture. I look forward to the people of Kerry welcoming the Top Gear team to Kerry. I am confident that they will get some stunning shots of the area, which will attract many new tourists.”

Earlier, Griffin told UTV: “The Stig probably wouldn’t be a household name in some parts of the county, but I think there is a huge cross section of society who would watch Top Gear.

“Our hope would be that a lot of people that are driving enthusiasts would see this and would decide to come to Ireland and come to Kerry on their next holiday, because of what they see on Top Gear.”

Netflix confirmed that the new series will be streamed internationally and it will premiere on BBC1 in May.

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