The actor agreed to appear on the hit BBC TV programme to take part in its Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, in which celebrities drive around a racetrack.
Lewis filmed his appearance earlier this month (Jan13) just hours after severe snow storms battered the U.K. and his lap was littered with tricky moments as his car slipped and spun on the icy surface.
He eventually skidded across the finish line sideways after spinning out on the last corner, clocking up a lap-time of two minutes and nine seconds – almost 13 seconds slower than ageing British politician John Prescott, the previous slowest man.
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson told Lewis, “Realistically you were never going to set the fastest time… I have to say actually that is the slowest lap we have ever had on the Top Gear test track, but – and I’m sure everyone will agree with me on this – by far and away the most entertaining.”
Lewis admitted he was determined to put in a good lap-time prior to filming but the pressure was off once he knew he would have to drive on a snow-covered track.
He said, “It’s quite nerve-racking coming to do this for the first time. You think, ‘What’s my limit?’… When I saw the weather it was oddly relaxing.”
After watching footage of his hair-raising circuit of the track, Lewis laughed and added, “That was a lot of fun, it was terrific.”