Top Gear – what will happen next?

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As you might have noticed, I am a massive fan of Top Gear. Did the website give it away? But sadly, I strongly believe Top Gear in its current format simply cannot and will not survive without Jeremy Clarkson.

His chemistry on-screen with Richard Hammond and James May was the very glue which held the show together in the early years, and then solidified it as time passed and made Top Gear so utterly fantastic to watch. To replace Clarkson with a new presenter and attempt to soldier on would be a catastrophic mistake.

Hammond and May already know this, I’m sure, and I expect we’ll see their contractual obligations with Top Gear lapse at the end of the month too. They’ll likely continue to be involved with the BBC and work on their own shows separately, but I’d say their Top Gear days are most definitely over. Expect to hear more about that soon.

What’s happening right now?

top-gear-being-packed-up

Well, the studio is currently being packed up. Don’t cry yet, this is not an unusual thing – in fact it happens at the end of every other Top Gear series. The hanger is rented and it makes no sense to continue renting it for the rest of the year if you aren’t going to use it. What makes this pack up different though is the fact that it’ll probably be the last time we’ll ever see the studio looking this way. It may also be the last time Top Gear uses Dunsfold Park as its base, for reasons I’ll mention further down the page.

top-gear-stage

The battered and bruised Toyota Hilux, James Majorca rally car, Top Gear’s convertible people carrier… these are just a few of the items that will probably never see the light of day ever again. The stage might be retained for a potential 2016 series, but those dark green leather chairs bring back far too many memories…

PAY-Top-Gear-Studio-clear-out2

So, what will happen next?

Well, for Top Gear to survive from here on out, I believe the show will need to be stripped right back to its roots, and return as a (slightly) more serious car show. No more “Ambitious But Rubbish” mantra, staged accidents or clichéd characters, like May as Captain Slow, or Hammond as the Secret American with expensive teeth. Or Jeremy “POWERRRR!” Clarkson.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting it should revert back to being a run-of-the-mill motoring show where men with moustaches stand around discussing fuel consumption or boot space. Top Gear will need three new presenters who can bounce off each other and be genuinely entertaining in their own right; without trying to replicate all the silly stuff we’re used to. They’d need time to gel together and work on making Top Gear their own creation. I might even suggest that the show would also need some new blood in the production team, to help take it in a new (and hopefully entertaining) direction.

jeremy-clarkson-countryfile

And Clarkson? I know he’s getting on a bit, but we definitely haven’t seen the last of him. I predict he’ll be back on our screens by next year, with new hips and a new project. I think he’ll either launch a new motoring show on a rival network (Changing Gear on ITV, perhaps?) which may or may not involve Hammond and May. Or he might go in the opposite direction completely and pursue that Countryfile style show he has been threatening to do. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be thoroughly entertaining.

You can be assured that whatever he does, I’ll be watching. Will you?

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22 COMMENTS

  1. I think there’s a chance that if netflix gets involved that there may be a chance that a type of show Like top gear will continue if they allow for it.

    • There were rumors going around that netflix wants to get involved with jeremy and I think this is where it’s going if you think about it and netflix did get involved there would be no need for set show times, make and do what you want, how ever many episodes they want, they can constantly update if they wanted, it makes me hope that we will see something good happen if this ends up being true cause I’m sure hammond and may will join if netflix does something

      • Here’s hoping that the Hammond and May quit Top Gear, the BBC realises it can’t go on with new presenters, and sells the brand to Netflix. It would be an even better way of watching the show because they release all episodes at once. If not it could still be way better as Netflix could make a not-Top-Gear-but-very-much-like-Top-Gear show with the three. They could do what TG USA has done and forgo the studio segments (which I think are getting less and less entertaining as the show goes on) and just do a film for each episode, like their Specials format. It could be really really good but only if 1. Hammond and May leave and 2. Another decent network signs them up. It’s a big ask and we’ll have to what happens, I guess…

        • I think releasing all the of the episodes at once is a disadvantage. Top Gear is (was) a sunday night show, this is what my freinds and I wait for all week. The show is also a social event.Well, this is my opinion.

          • I do have a netflix account but I do think it’s important to have the new show accessible as possible. I paywall will reduce that so I think the best outcome would be to air it on a rival tv station. Netflix will buy the episodes anyway.

          • I agree, it should be on TV not Netflix, or both. It definetly on TV more viewers and no monthly subscription lol

          • It’s good to meet a fellow weekly celebrator. My girl knows there are only 2 periods of the year to not bother me: new season of Top Gear and March madness.

            Our record for viewers at a TG party to date… 30. It was held outside at our neighborhood poo, and we strung up a projector. Didn’t matter that the quality was lousy (early DivX rip), and that we were buzzed. A good time had by all.

            I set my calendar to this show, and have to be home on Sunday in time to relax and watch TG. In my special lounge chair, with something alcoholic.

            Everyone has an obsession. I just share mine with 350 million other enlightened gearheads.

  2. He never should’ve sold his share of the top gear name… Hopefully iTV will buy it and the show will go on… I hope AT least they release the footage from the episodes that didn’t air. Even as bonus features on the DVD. In my opinion it is not fair of the BBC to have not released them… They should have done the investigation at the end of march when the current series and Clarkson’s contract would’ve ended anyway…

  3. They should have a topgear museum filled with stuff they have done etc , also how come we have heard absolutely nothing from Andy wilman yet ? I would like to hear his side of the story

  4. The saddest part of all of this isn’t the show being cancelled or the presenters leaving, it all the awesome TG props (and the presenters could possibly qualify) and projects that will most likely never be seen again.

  5. I hope they will put all of the Top Gear creations in a museum or something like that. They can’t just kill the TGV12 , hammerhead i eagle thrust,The Indestructible Toyota and so much more !

    • Of course they can’t kill the Toyota 😛 The Brit-car BMW needs to be preserved, that car has been through a fair bit.

  6. I think Clarkson should start his own show on Netflix with Hammond and May. They can call it whatever they like and just do the same old crazy stuff they were doing in Top Gear. Netfix subs will go through the roof if that happens. BBC on the other hand just sink their most popular show. There is a reason Top Gear UK is so damn popular compared to the rest of the Top Gear shows who dont even come Close. Look at the US or German versions not a snowball chance in hell compared to UK version. Reason for that is Clarkson/Hammond/May. Rip Top Gear.

    • I completely agree. I enjoyed the show so much.
      The three presenters have a chemistry that’s just not replaceable.
      I hope and think they will stick together and make a new car show. They must have enjoyed it themeselve a lot too.
      I will follow them wherever they go.

  7. I hope the person who fired Clarkson will get fired tomorrow and Top Gear will go on for another 10 years, everybody is happy!

  8. James probably won’t be participating in a motoring show anymore. He is too old for that sort of thing. So I think that’s the end of the three middle aged idiots I’m afraid.

    Anyone foolish enough to accept presenting a new TopGear is doomed. But I do hope it’s Chris Harris who has his own YouTube! channel and also makes films for /Drive.

    One thing is certain though. TopGear will never be even close to as entertaining as it was with Jeremy, James and Richard. Any kind of new TopGear will be very likely a boring-to-the-most-of-those-350-million-viewers progeramme.

  9. Who owns the intellectual property rights to the Stig?? Who owns Dunsfold Aerodrome? There are so many questions I have. I will follow Jeremy wherever he goes… And I think the rest of the people who read this site will as well. I also think that James and Richard will follow also. I wish I just knew which car was fastest around the TG track out of the three hybrid hypercars. Fuck you BBC for taking away something I loved.

    • The BBC own the rights to Top Gear and The Stig. Dunsfold Aerodrome is owned by The Rutland Group, who rent the facilities out to anyone who is interested. Lotus and a few other groups (driver training companies, etc) use the airfield too.

  10. It’s been very humorous to see the public support for our Jeremy. I mean, even his arch enemy (do people actually have arch enemies? Yes they do, Watson.) Piers Morgan came out in support. Hell hath indeed frozen over.

    I will miss my all-time favorite show- very high bar I know, but I can’t think of a single other show which has provided me such joy. Certainly not one where I can proudly say that I’ve seen most of the episodes at least 4 times each. I considered it my life’s mission to convert the masses to TG.

    Best episode for converting the unbelievers… they make a space shuttle. Appeals to the 5 year-old in all of us.

    That’s a church i can worship at… Driving Gods who have appointed Jeremy Clarkson (JC can’t be a coincidence), James May and Richard Hammond as disciples. Everyone competes through cars not clothes, and Communion is practiced as a fillup on race gas.

    As a Yank, I can attest that we’ve taken our share of slaps over the years… and so has everyone else. He’s an equal opportunity offender, as the saying goes- and he picks on his own countrymen with regularity as well. And sometimes the truth hurts– America truly has issues making a car that goes around corners.

    He has also taken much of the return animosity with grace that far outshines his opponents. A pie in the face at his honorary doctorate award ceremony- he laughed and made a hilarious comment. And his tongue in cheek method of addressing his critics on the show. That’s a classy way to get in a jibe or two.

    But to the haters… haven’t we advanced enough in the 2000+ years since the other JC supposedly walked among us? I despise the Kardashians, so I do something very novel… I change the channel or turn the box off. I have numerous destructive ways to occupy my time. And if I’m going to kill brain cells, I can find a much more enjoyable way to do so.

    BBC, Jeremy is a blessing and curse simultaneously. I’ve seen other celebrities over the years make dumb mistakes (Hugh Grant on Sunse, anyone?), and they do their penance and move on. So far as we know, Jeremy’s never killed 3 people or committed sexual assault. He’s just a loud mouthed buffoon (or baboon) who is still genuinely perplexed that people listen to him.

    Bottom line: make him pay a fine and do A LOT of charity work. You Brits are dedicated to enhancing life of the less fortunate… make the man host Sports Relief for a couple of years. Or open a new Tesco. Or two.

    I despair for the many charities who’ve benefited from TG’s generosity over the years. And that special on Sports Relief a while back? Inspired. Wonder how much that brought in.

    Finally, I weep for the millions of kids who’ve watched a treasured show instantly disappear. You tell a six-year-old his favourite shows been cancelled. He doesn’t understand politics- and ya don’t have to do so to enjoy 3 dudes older than dirt trying to kill themselves. He only knows it’s gone.

    Trust me, I had that same discussion with a 5 & 7 year-old. I’m still getting inquiries about it coming back everyday. I tell them I’m waiting too.

    I feel sick (and six) here too. Maybe we should offer a Morris Minor as a sacrifice to the Car Gods. I’m game for that, and I think the boys of TG would approve.

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