Late tune-up for new Top Gear show


Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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The presenters of BBC motoring show Top Gear are leaving it late to put the finishing touches to the 22nd series, which starts next Sunday.

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond appeared in front of a live audience in London tonight in an event which was shown around the world online.

Absolute Radio breakfast host Christian O’Connell asked them if the series was all done – and was told that it is not.

Hammond said “we are always late with our homework” a nd Clarkson said: “Programme One, the film is not yet edited,” adding: “It either goes out or it doesn’t, the world still turns.”

O’Connell asked about highlights, to be told by Hammond: “There are so many things – that we haven’t done yet.”

People in the audience and around the world who were given the chance to ask questions steered clear of the controversies in which the programme has become embroiled.

For example, Clarkson had to apologise when unscreened footage emerged of him mumbling the N-word while reciting the children’s nursery rhyme ”eeny, meeny, miny, moe” to choose between two cars.

And the show was also censured by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules after Clarkson used a ”racial” term during the programme’s Burma special.

The year ended with the crew forced to flee Argentina after trouble erupted when it emerged they were using a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL, which some people suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict of 1982.

Protests were organised by Argentine veterans and stones were thrown at vehicles being used by cast and crew.

The series is to launch with a simultaneous broadcast in more than 50 countries.

The programme will be seen in locations across Australia, Africa and the Middle East at the same time as it is shown on BBC2.

A further 10 countries including Malaysia, Taiwan and Mongolia will screen it within 24 hours of its UK debut.

Tonight’s event, An Evening With Top Gear, saw the trio discussing the challenges of putting together the show, and presenting clips from the forthcoming series. It was shown on Top Gear’s official YouTube channel, as well as on the BBC website and on the red button.

The 10-week series will begin with the presenters heading across the Russian city of St Petersburg, with May driving a Renault, Hammond using a bike and Clarkson in a hovercraft. The Stig will use public transport.

Ed Sheeran will feature as the star in a reasonably priced car section of the show, doing a lap of the Top Gear track despite having no driving licence. Clarkson also revealed tonight that actors Kiefer Sutherland and Will Smith will also appear in the new series.

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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