Who is Matt LeBlancs girlfriend Aurora Mulligan? The Top Gear producer dating the presenter and Friends actor

Who is Matt LeBlanc\s girlfriend Aurora Mulligan? The Top Gear producer dating the presenter and Friends actor
Top Gear series 25 episode 3 review: Its darker, less focused on the cars but oddly touching
Can you imagine how quickly things would have gone Shibuya-shaped with Clarkson and co unleashed upon Japan? Gags about sushi, mis-pronunciation of the letter r and a years supply of Geisha-puns would surely have been just the start of it from the new Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host and his gang. Contrast that with the respectful yet never po-faced tone of the new crew as they acknowledged Japans neon-streaked idiosyncrasies without coming across boorish or condescending. 

Having not really got on last year, the petrolhead Tweedledum and Tweedlediesel of LeBlanc (famous and laid-back) and Harris (obscure and very shouty) have finally developed something vaguely resembling on-screen chemistry. Decades from now historians will look back at this episode as the moment their Top Gear bromance was consummated in earnest as they embarked on a road-trip from Tokyo to the Tōhoku region some 200 miles north. 

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Top Gear series 25 episode 3 review: Its darker, less focused on the cars but oddly touching

Their mission was to each buy a swish Nineties sports car at the huge USS Tokyo car auction in Chiba – 15,000 motors traded every day – and then export it to the UK for maximum profit. Harris chose a banana-hued Mazda RX-7 (complete with unreliable rotary motor) while LeBlanc went for a Nissan Skyline GTT (same as the snazzier GTR, aside from the compromised engine power and lack of four-wheel steering). 

But the financial component of the challenge took a back seat as they reached the famous Ebisu circuit and participated in some top-level drift racing, with cutesy Japanese k-car pickups as competition. To maximise their cornering, the Mazda and the Nissan were jerry-rigged together using the latest advanced automotive tech (a few tyres and some rope). It was the perfect metaphor for the thrown-together fashion in which LeBlanc and Harris have bonded – though you hope their onscreen friendship doesnt come apart as spectacularly as the Franken-car did as they took a bend too quickly. 

He really cant believe hes presenting Top Gear, can he? Reid is the eight year-old whos just been told hes won a years supply of sweets and the sugary treats this week included a spin in a disco-light Lamborghini which looked like it was auditioning for the Rocky Horror remake of Transformers.

Video: Sumo Wrestler Racing! Chris Harris vs Matt LeBlanc | Top Gear: Series 25

Preview – Top Gear

This was part of his investigation into Bosozoku style modified car culture. The movement was started in the Fifties by bored former Kamikaze pilots (those who had survived obviously) and was initially tied to organised crime. Now the only transgressions were against fashion as Reid discovered behind the wheel of a dragster with huge bendy straws sticking out of its engine. 

Dessert was a tour of the Hakone Hills in a road-legal Porsche 962, a three-times winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This was to prove a bittersweet final flourish as the Porsche broke down on the way back to Tokyo – though by then Reid had spent so long in automotive heaven he wasnt too bothered. 

It was time for a pit-stop on their drive north – at the deserted suburbs around Daiichi nuclear power plant, from which 175,000 were evacuated overnight following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. LeBlanc and Harris, snug in their protective Tyvek, were visibly moved by the isolation and devastation. LeBlanc was stunned to see childrens shoes abandoned outside an empty house – while Harris looked like he might have a breakdown coming upon a Porsche Carrera some unfortunate had been forced to leave behind. 

When in Japan, make everything look as if its straight from an Eighties anime movie. That seemed to be the logic as Harris compared and contrasted a Lexus LC 500 and Honda Civic Type-R. In a race with the Japanese Stig – inevitably done up like fancy dress party ninja – Harris had to contend not only with a tricky circuit but with some eye-grabbing animations –  starting with a retro Street Fighter-style introduction.

The comedic possibilities offered by very large men wearing what to uneducated Western eyes resemble glorified (and precariously affixed) towels was obvious. So Top Gear crowbarred in a pair of sumo wrestlers, whom LeBlanc and Harris were required to carry as passengers during their dash up twisting Gunsai Touge mountain circuit. The sumos didnt do much beyond wobble in their seats and look confused as the hosts spoke to them in broken Japanese. But thats exactly what we wanted, wasnt it? 

As anyone whos ever sat through a Japanese quiz show will testifying certain aspects of the nations culture seem utterly bonkers to Western audiences. This was acknowledged as LeBlanc and Harris gawped at Ebisu circuits menagerie of Godzilla and monkey statues and, back at studio, quipped about the probing nature of Japanese loos. Similarly Reid couldnt quite believe it as he zoomed around Tokyo in the bendy-straw car. Crucially, though, bafflement never slipped into jeering. 

The final leg of the challenge saw the pair dashing to the finish line and a waiting helicopter that would convey the winning vehicle back to the UK. LeBlanc opted for the theoretically quicker motorway – but a communication breakdown with the chap manning the barrier left him fatally delayed. Which meant Harris, taking the more congested b-road, romped home first. Alas, his Mazda was so battered from the earlier drift session that he was unlikely to see a return on the estimated £50,000 it had cost to travel to Japan and buy it. Its a cautionary tale for anyone tempted to strap their car to a wealthier American pals vehicle in order to race super-powered mini-vans (come on, weve all been there). 

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