Top Gear

Making Shows Great Again

In recent years, we have seen such enduring favourites as Blind Date, Top Gear, Dancing on Ice and Robot Wars revamped and returned, with the aim of recapturing loyal audiences and attracting new ones.

We have seen The Great British Bake-Off switch channels and talent and receive just as much love and adoration on Channel 4 as it did on BBC. The key question is: when do you stick and when do you twist? In the company of four experienced TV executives intimately acquainted with one of TV’s great gambles, we find out….

Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff to present new series of Top Gear

Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris (Credit: BBC)

Following the departures of host Matt LeBlanc and co-presenter Rory Reid after the next series, McGuinness and Flintoff will join Chris Harris in a new all-British line-up of Top Gear.

Sabine Schmitz will remain in the Top Gear family with Reid continuing to host Top Gear spin-off Extra Gear on BBC Two.

The announcement took place near the River Thames in London as a photocall, as the new line-up was joined by the real stars of the show: a blue Porsche 911 GT2RS and a red Aston Martin DSB Superleggera.

Video: Show Me The Money! Andy Harries and Andy Wilman discuss working on the new frontier of broadcasting

It’s the dream scenario for a producer: to be handed a huge budget and the creative freedom to create compelling content for a new platform.  Producers Andy Harries and Andy Wilman, in conversation with Peter Fincham, discuss the origins and production of The Crown and The Grand Tour respectively. How did it work, how sustainable is it and where do they go from here?

Top Gear to return in March

The series is back with Matt le Blanc, Rory Reid and Chris Harris forming the main line up.

Sabine Schmitz and Eddie Jordan also make a return in the series in supporting roles, Rory Reid revealed in an exclusive interview with the RTS.

The new series, he says, is “going back to what Top Gear was very well known for – wacky ideas, big ambitious projects, things that are scary to look at and dangerous to take part in.”

Amazon gives UK telly fans a Christmas treat

All Amazon UK customers have the chance to watch the first episode of its big budget car show The Grand Tour for free, between now and midnight on Boxing Day (26th December 2016).

The streaming giant has also made available the first episodes of a number of other Amazon Originals shows, including The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Just Add Magic, Wishenproof, Creative Galaxy and Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street.

Top Gear's Rory Reid: from mega-fan to superstar

Top Gear, Chris Evans, Matt le Blanc,

“There’s a stretch of time from mid-November where I’ll be away for weeks at a time” he says.

I am meeting Rory in the upstairs bar of a pub just around the corner from the BBC in central London.

As I arrive Reid is just polishing off his lunch in the otherwise empty bar. He’s friendly, relaxed, and nothing at all like his famously starving predecessor Jeremy Clarkson.

Reid is one of the main presenters of the BBC’s new and improved Top Gear line up, joining Friends star Matt le Blanc and motoring journalist Chris Harris.

Matt LeBlanc confirms Top Gear hosting duties in two-series deal

Top Gear was relaunched in May this year with LeBlanc and Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans fronting the broadcaster's flagship motoring show. The pair were supported by motorsport boss Eddie Jordan, champion driver Sabine Schmitz, and journalists Chris Harris and Rory Reid over the series' six-week run.

Amazon's The Grand Tour arrives in November

Grand Tour, Clarkson

In a new trailer, Amazon announced that the much-anticipated series will be hitting screens around the world on 18 November 2016.

Unusually for Amazon series, the show will be released in weekly episodes for 12 weeks, rather than all at once.

Producer Andy Wilman said at last month’s Edinburgh International Television Festival that he felt the series would suit a weekly release as it was not binge-watch television.

 

Edinburgh TV Festival Day One: The Grand Tour, Vice and new BBC commissions

Shane Smith delivering the 2016 MacTaggart lecture (Credit: RTS)

Although the much-publicised ‘steak-gate’ incident led to the end of the Clarkson, Hammond and May era of the show, the end had been looming, Wilman suggested.

“We were collapsing under the weight of the work we were doing,” he added.

Appearing at the festival to promote the team’s new Amazon Prime show The Grand Tour, Wilman would not be drawn on how much the company had paid for the series. “It’s a good whack,” he conceded, but denied that it was as much as the rumoured £4 million per episode.