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The Offical Top Gear Fanclub
- Where has topgear dog gone?????
- Me, Myself, and I
- The current format of Top Gear is an Emmy Award and BAFTA winning BBC television series about motor vehicles, particularly cars. The programme is estimated to have over 350 million viewers worldwide, 5 million of whom watch the programme each week in the UK on BBC Two.
Top Gear is presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, and features The Stig, an anonymous test driver. It is provocative, humorous and light-hearted in tone.
The ninth series of Top Gear premiered on 28 January 2007, after having been delayed since October 2006 due to Hammonds car accident in September 2006.
The original Top Gear was a half-hour show produced by BBC Birmingham that ran from 1977 to 2001.
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After a period of recording other programmes, Clarkson, along with producer Andy Wilman, successfully pitched a new format for Top Gear to the BBC, and a new series began airing in 2002.
The format incorporated a number of major changes. The show was lengthened to an hour and two new presenters were introduced: Richard Hammond and Jason Dawe, with James May replacing Dawe after the first series. The Stig, an anonymous masked racing driver, was introduced as test driver.
New segments were also added, including "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car", the "Cool Wall", "Car News", "Power Laps" as well as numerous one-off features such as races, competitions and the frequent destruction of caravans. The programme is filmed at Dunsfold Park, a former airfield in Surrey, where a custom race circuit was built and a large hangar is used for inside filming. A standing studio audience of about 400 people, who apply to the BBC for free tickets, was also included.
Richard Hammond introduced a new member of the team at the start of Series 8, a female Labradoodle named Top Gear Dog. However, she only appeared twice in Series 9.
Series 9 was scheduled to air on BBC Two from 8 October 2006 and end sometime in November. However, on 20 September 2006 Hammond was seriously injured while driving a jet-propelled drag-racing car at up to 314 mph (502 km/h) for a feature for the show. On 24 September the BBC said: "It also confirmed the final part of the Best of Top Gear had been postponed indefinitely and the new series, due to begin on 8 October, will be delayed". Both the BBC and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out inquiries into the accident. On 5 October, filming resumed on features for the new series that Hammond was not involved with. The ninth series began airing on 28 January 2007, and footage of Hammond's crash was shown with Hammond's commentary and reaction from the presenters. The first show of the ninth series attracted higher ratings than the finale of Celebrity Big Brother and the final episode of the series getting 8 million viewers — BBC2's biggest ratings for a decade..
A special edition of Top Gear - filmed for Red Nose Day 2007 - called Top Gear of the Pops mixed the show's typical format with music and appearances from artists Lethal Bizzle, Travis, Supergrass, and McFly with a challenge to write a song including the words "sofa", "administration" and "Hyundai" and a performance by Clarkson, Hammond and May with Justin Hawkins of a song by Billy Ocean.
Repeats of earlier series are currently shown on UKTV G2 and UKTV People. Top Gear has been broadcast in other countries either in its original format, in a re-edited version, or (as in the case of the North American version) with specially shot segments in front of the UK audience.
The BBC also broadcasts edited versions of Top Gear on its international BBC World TV channel. Episodes are edited from their original length of one hour to 30 minutes, often leaving dangling references and inconsistencies in the episodes. Additionally, the original order of the episodes is sometimes not kept, so references to un-aired events are even more common. The only footage specially shot for the international version is for the end of each episode, where Clarkson bids his goodbye to BBC World viewers, instead of BBC viewers.
Recently, BBC World has not shown cut versions of the current series, but has resorted to "best of" collections of the previous series. In both cases the BBC World edition mainly features the challenges and races from the normal episodes, with Clarkson's 'stronger' remarks removed. Interviews and "Car of the Year" are generally not shown.
0 Comments 330 weeks
The wait is nearly over. On Sunday night Top Gear will return to your television, and you won't believe what we've got in store.
Check out our TopGear.com exclusive series 10 preview video (you can't watch this anywhere else).
All week we've been counting down to the big day with exclusive previews (if you missed out, see the list below) and every week we'll be bringing you an exclusive video clip from the upcoming show.
But first, this week. On Sunday night's show you'll see Jeremy drive the awesome Golf W12 - VW's 641bhp present to itself to celebrate the GTi's 30th anniversary. It's a great piece of film - so good that we nabbed an exclusive little promo video for you to watch before Sunday's show.
The big film involves the latest crop of Atkins-diet supercars and a hunt for the world's greatest driving roads. It's a two-parter with Jeremy falling in love all over again with the Gallardo Superlegerra, Richard chasing hard in a bright green Porsche GT3 RS and James trapped miles behind in an airconless Aston N24 race car.
This week's star in our reasonably priced car is A-lister Dame Helen Mirren and we also see a welcome, if slightly scorched, return of the Cool Wall. If give away any more details, they won't let us in next week.
So, that's Top Gear, Sunday night, 8pm on BBC Two. And don't forget, if you want to see previews of what to expect from the whole of series 10, check out the following exclusive stories:
Lighweight supercar challenge
Jeremy and the 641bhp Golf
24 hours of Top Gear
Wet wet wet
Aston Martin Vantage vs jet man
Veyron vs jet fighter
Plus, check out our archive of classic TG video clips and our favourite moments from this summer's Polar Challenge special. You can also find various rants from Jeremy and well-reasoned columns from James in our features section. Other than that, you'll have to wait until next week for blogs from the presenters after Sunday night's programme.
1 Comment 330 weeks
Police probe Bugatti Veyron crash
07 March 2007
by Adrian Hearn
Police are investigating the Bugatti Veyron smash which left one of the world’s fastest cars seriously damaged.
A spokesperson for Surrey Police said: “We are investigating a collision which took place on Sunday involving a Bugatti Veyron and Vauxhall Astra estate.
“The driver of the Bugatti Veyron has been reported by police on suspicion of driving without due care and attention.
“We now have six months to collate evidence to decide whether or not to press charges.”
The front end of the 253mph red and black Veyron was seriously damaged after Sunday’s collision.
It is understood the Veyron’s owner – who IS NOT believed to have been the driver at the time - had been on the waiting list for the supercar for over a year.
He had owned the motor for just one week before Sunday’s crash in Shepperton, Surrey.
Insurers were last night assessing whether to repair the car or make the £830,000 supercar Britain’s most expensive right-off.
Only 300 Veyrons have been made, with just 12 sold in the UK.
5 Comments 333 weeks