Rayleigh and Wickford MP and Armed Forces Minister, Mark Francois, recently met with James May, one of the well known presenters of the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’, while on a recent visit to British troops in Afghanistan.

Mr Francois had been in Afghanistan where, amongst others, he met troops from the Second Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment.

At the same time, James May and a production team from Top Gear were also out filming a programme, concentrating on the Army’s fleet of logistics vehicles and the plans for the drawdown of troops and equipment from Afghanistan - which is due to be completed by the end of 2014.

Alongside his colleague, the Procurement Minister Phillip Dunn MP, Mr Francois chatted to James May and his team over breakfast about some of the vehicles they were going to drive and the terrain that they would be practising over. 

Commenting on his encounter with the Top Gear team, Mr Francois said: “I have seen James May on television many times so it was a pleasure to meet up with him over breakfast and to have a chat with him about the programme he was doing, focusing on the military in Afghanistan and their vehicle fleet.

"James told me he has driven other military vehicles in the past, such as the Challenger Tank but that this was the first time he had been given the chance to drive some of the Army’s heavy logistics kit and he was clearly very enthusiastic about it. I understand the programme was broadcast recently and went down well with viewers. “