Jumble of new faces for nation’s favourite car programme. Can it work?
The colossal success of Top Gear, ostensibly a programme just about vehicles, is due in no small part to its relaunch in 2002, when a new format of three presenters in a studio led by Jeremy Clarkson transformed the programme.
The nation’s TV oglers were soon bewitched, and the levels of fandom of the show and its trio of flippant hosts soared to such heights that by 2008, the waiting list for tickets was reportedly 300,000 names long, or 21-years’ worth of shows.
All was going well, until the year 2015, when Clarkson was offered a cold meat platter instead of a steak after a day’s filming.
Clarkson was unable to contain his fury at the prospect of cold meat. He lashed out with his fists and with words at one of the programme’s producers, Oisin Tymon.
Tymon was reportedly subjected to a thirty second physical attack after a verbal tirade “of an extreme nature”.
The producer subsequently required hospital treatment and sued Clarkson and the BBC for £100,000 for racial discrimination and personal injury.
Whoops. You can’t be violent and get all racist and keep your job at the BBC these days it seems.
So the programme is back on the starting grid, and while Chris Evans seems to be in pole position to lead the charge, a veritable crowd of unlikely co-hosts are set to join him in a major shakeup of the show’s format.
The most surprising inclusion is perhaps the inclusion of Friends actor Matt Le Blanc.
Here is the full list:
- Radio and television presenter Chris Evans
- Actor Matt Le Blanc
- Formula 1 commentator Eddie Jordan
- German racing driver Sabine Schmitz
- Motoring journalist Chris Harris
- Car reviewer and TV presenter Rory Reid
- The Stig – the only remnant of the previous format
Can it work? We don’t know yet because the programme hasn’t been on. But once it is on the box we can all give it a watch and then decide for ourselves.
It’s going to be returning to BBC 2 in May this year.
Speaking about the new line up, Evans said: “We really do have a bit of everything for everyone.
“A fellow lifelong petrolhead from the other side of the pond in Matt; a fearless speed-demon in the irrepressible and effervescent Sabine; the encyclopedic, funny and wonderfully colourful character that is EJ; Chris, one of the world’s top no-nonsense car reviewers; and Rory, who simply blew me away in his audition and fully deserves his place on the team.”
Rory Reid submitted an audition tape to producers in order to get his place on the team.
Reid said: “When I submitted my 30-second audition tape, I knew the odds were very firmly against me, as the auditions were open to absolutely everybody.”
“To be the only person to make it through the open audition process makes me immensely proud.”
Well done everyone.