There is no doubt that Top Gear has faced a fair amount of drama and a ratings slump over the last several seasons. This series of events has left fans asking, will Top Gear return for another season? The answer is yes, but the show is making big changes to try to rectify some of the problems it has faced in the last few years.
Read on to reminisce on the bumps and bruises the show has weathered and how BBC is adapting the show and its hosts in the new season.
Dealing with Drama
While Jeremy Clarkson may be considered fans’ favorite all-time host of Top Gear, he also brought a whole host of drama to the show. In 2015, after 22 series of Top Gear, BBC fired Clarkson after he punched an Irish producer, calling him lazy. Clarkson’s rage was instigated by the producer’s failure to have hot food available for Clarkson and his co-hosts.
Rather than continue on with the show, Clarkson’s co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond chose to leave the show with him. They went on to film three series of the show The Grand Tour together. Clarkson’s career has now veered a different direction, and he is starring in an Amazon Prime series about running a 1,000-acre working farm.
After the departure of Clarkson, Hammond, and May, the future of Top Gear seemed a bit uncertain, but the show looked to rebound with new hosts Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans. Throughout the season, the two hosts were joined by a number of co-presenters.
Things continued to be rocky for Top Gear. Before the season even began, LeBlanc created controversy by performing stunts next to the Cenotaph war memorial in London. The BBC allegedly did not have permission to film in the area, and Evans apologized for the LeBlanc incident, stating that everyone was mortified.
This controversy didn’t end the negative press around the show. There were constant rumors of a feud between hosts LeBlanc and Evans. Even though the hosts did their best to dispel the rumors, problems continued to plague the show. Evans eventually stepped down after Top Gear received consistently poor ratings and a police probe into an alleged previous sexual assault.
One year later, LeBlanc stepped away from the show, citing the extensive travel and need to spend more time with friends and family as his reasons. Throughout this rollercoaster, the ratings for the show continued to tank.
New, New Top Gear Presenters
Even with such a bumpy run over the last several years, BBC is not throwing in the towel on Top Gear. Instead, they have introduced a new lineup of hosts who are aiming to bring a different vibe and to modernize the show.
The trio of new hosts is comprised of Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris, and Paddy McGuinness. Harris, a former racing driver and car journalist, has tenure with the show, having previously worked with Evans and LeBlanc. Flintoff is a former cricket player, sports panelist, actor, and podcast host, and McGuinness is a comedian and actor.
The new Top Gear presenters have received rave reviews so far. They are said to have great chemistry and are comfortable moving between the script and ad-libbing. Looking to move away from its violent and dramatic past, this new version of Top Gear is billing itself as a bit more caring and emotional. The presenters are also striving to bring more culture and emotion to the show.
Only time will tell if the show reaches its former glory, but the initial reports from the new presenters and new direction of the show is certainly a positive one.