The UK tabloids are getting a head start on putting the boot into the new version of Top gear many months ahead of its proposed starting date (May 2016) by saying that “insiders” are claiming that the new show is an utter mess while still in the early production stages.
A report by The Sun is very in-depth and detailed – leading us to believe at least some of it – and makes a number of worrying claims about the show’s production and new host Chris Evans, including the fact that he apparently crashed a brand new Jaguar on his very first time around the Top Gear track!
Other claims the article makes include the fact that the show “has had to become a lot more PC following the Clarkson row,” (which shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone), while Evans, called a “control freak” by the “insider” is at odds with producers over how much control he has – he wants total ownership over the show like longtime producer Andy Wilman had but the BBC says there’s “too much at stake for a show worth more than £50 million a year in merchandising, live events and other revenue sources.”
While Evans is also said to be struggling with pre-recorded segments (which is basically everything), being more used to a live setting, perhaps the most worrying revelation is that the production team apparently “doesn’t know anything about cars” and that writers from Top Gear magazine had to be brought in to “suggest ideas”. Hey… I used to write for Top Gear NZ…
The article also alleges that the BBC is worried about the relatively low mainstream profiles of the other new presenters that have just been announced; David Coulthard, Chris Harris and Sabine Schmitz. While all relatively well known in the car world, Schmitz and Harris are relatively unknown to the wider public (despite Harris being damn near the best motoring journo on the planet…) and Coulthard – while exceptionally knowledgable – is hardly the most exciting and characterful F1 driver…
This, however, is all said to be part of Evan’s plans and he wanted them because “they’re relative unknowns outside the car world, and he wants to stay the star of the show.”
Personally, we were hoping to get all the vaguely car-related silliness and and gratuitous use of the word “cock” from Clarkson, Hammond and May’s new show for Amazon, while Top Gear would revert to its older form of being a good car show with a decent budget and knowledgable presenters, but – the brilliant Chris Harris aside – this ain’t sounding too promising… plus Evans IS a massively annoying ginger twat, so that’s not good.
[Image © Wikimedia Commons/JMiall]