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James May

Date of Birth: Wednesday, January 16, 1963
AGE: 55
Occupation: Presenter

Biography: An English television presenter, journalist and writer. May is best known as co-presenter of the motoring programme Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. May has presented a variety of other programmes on themes including science and technology, childhood toys, cars, food and drink, and the plight of manliness in modern times. In addition he has released a variety of DVDs and books with similar themes, and writes a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph?s motoring section.

On Top Gear, May has the nickname "Captain Slow", for his careful driving style, a love of small, underpowered cars and habit of getting lost and distracted while driving. However, in a July 2010 episode of Top Gear he drove a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, reaching a speed of 417.6 kilometres per hour (259.5 mph).

James May was born in Bristol, one of four children; he has two sisters and a brother. In his early years, May attended Caerleon Endowed Junior School in Newport, Monmouthshire. He spent his teenage years in South Yorkshire where he attended Oakwood Comprehensive School in Rotherham and was a choirboy at Whiston Parish Church. He was also at school with Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes star Dean Andrews. A keen flautist and pianist, he later studied music at Lancaster University, where he was a member of Pendle College. After graduating, May briefly worked at a hospital in Chelsea as a records officer, and had a short stint in Her Majesty?s Civil Service.

May currently lives in Hammersmith, London with dance critic Sarah Frater, whom he has dated since 2000.

May has owned a number of cars: Bentley T2, Triumph 2000, Rover P6, Alfa Romeo 164, 1971 Rolls-Royce Corniche, Jaguar XJS, Range Rover, Fiat Panda, Datsun 120Y, Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1, Ferrari F430, 1984 Porsche 911, 2005 Porsche Boxster S (which he claims is the first car he has ever purchased new), Mini Cooper, CitroŽn Ami, Mazda MX-5 and several classic motorcycles including a Yamaha XJR1300, Moto Guzzi V11 Sport, a Triumph Daytona 675R and a 1978 Guzzi California. He has a penchant for prestige cars like Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, simple and basic cars such as the Fiat Panda, and motorcycles. He often uses a Brompton folding bicycle for commuting. He passed his driving test on his second attempt and justified this by saying "All the best people pass the second time".

May obtained a light aircraft pilot?s licence in October 2006 having trained at White Waltham Airfield. He has owned a Luscombe 8A ?Silvaire? and an American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon.

May received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Lancaster University on 15 July 2010.

During the early 1980s, May worked as a writer for The Engineer and later Autocar magazine, from which he was dismissed. He has since written for several publications, including a regular column called England Made Me in Car Magazine, articles for Top Gear magazine, and a weekly column in The Daily Telegraph.

He has written a book titled May On Motors, which is a collection of his published articles, and co-authored Oz and James?s Big Wine Adventure, based on the TV series of the same name.

He has also written the afterword to Long Lane with Turnings, published in September 2006, the final book by motoring writer L. J. K. Setright. In the same month he co-presented a tribute to Raymond Baxter. His book, Notes From The Hard Shoulder, was published on 26 April 2007. James May?s 20th Century, a book to accompany the television series of the same name, was published on 6 September 2007

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