James May in Barga – barganews.com v 3.0

James May in Barga

TOP Gear legend James May was certainly in no fit state to drive after enjoying a surprise Scottish booze-up – while touring Tuscany.

The TV presenter had been visiting Barga – dubbed “The Scottish town” – as part of his new series Our Man In Italy.

But James reveals how he’d already had a skinful in a Scots-themed pub before the cameras started rolling.

He says: “I had arrived there quite early on while the crew were all setting up.

“So I’d had about five pints of 80 shilling before we’d even started filming, which explains the glazed look.”

And James admits he also found the cross-continental connections baffling too.

He adds: “It was very confusing with all these people with Italian names but wearing kilts.

“They also had very Scottish first names and very Italian surnames, so they’re called things like Jock Montverde.”

The locals later completed his confusion by asking James to give the address to a haggis at a Burns Supper.

He says: “I have read Robert Burns as I do like reading poetry, but I had never read it aloud.

“Are you supposed to do it in a Scottish voice? So I was a bit confused and I’d also had a few whiskies by then too.

“I think I made a fairly terrible job of it but since they’re Italian Scottish people I’m not sure that they recognised that.”

For now James was just delighted to find a unique slice of Scotland high up in the Tuscan hills.

He says: “I’m pleased when we were in Barga that it rained right at the end. So it really was a Scottish town right down to that little bit of manly drizzle.”