What might be wrong with the new Top Gear
Jeremy, James and Richard are gone, and we have four replacements for the new Top Gear, Or is that two?
TOP GEAR IS DEAD, long live Top Gear. Like most car enthusiasts I’m a big fan, or was, of the old show. That’s never coming back – as while the famous trio are making a new, big-budget series over at Amazon Prime to be available later this year, we can expect that show to be different to the Top Gear of old. So too the new Top Gear will be different from the old – which is not necessarily bad at all. A lot of that difference will be down to the presenters.
We now know that Chris Evans, Chris Harris, Sabine Schmitz and David Coulthard will present the show.
That’s a worry. Well, the fact you may not have heard of them doesn’t matter. Top Gear is its own drawcard, it doesn’t need a big name star. And the quantity doesn’t matter either, it could work with two or ten presenters. Gender isn’t relevant either, there’s potential for the show to fly with all male, all female or any mix.
But for the record, Chris Evans is a British TV presenter and radio DJ, Sabine is a professional driver and instructor, Chris Harris is a motoring journalist and video maker, and David is an ex-F1 driver, winner of 13 Grands Prix.
Which is what worries me about this lineup – three of the four are very similar. Chris H, Sabine and David are all very skilled road/race drivers, and they’re all in their 40s.
So where’s the diversity? Where’s your classic car buff? Your off-roader, your tech geek, your mechanical expert, your young’un, your old one, your engineer, your lover of design? At this early stage I don’t see much of a mix in age, specialty or interest, and a diversity of people and opinions is what I think will make the show flow. I think a large part of Clarkson/Hammond/May success was their difference in views and personalities; oaf, nerd and well how do you describe Hammond, but importantly he was neither oaf nor nerd. Different presenters allow everyone to have a favourite, and indeed the success of Fast and Furious is attributed to the diversity of the leading characters.
Of this current lineup only Chris Evans looks to be the odd one, but will that be enough? Still, there’s no magic formula for success and it’s impossible to predict what will happen. We’ll find out soon enough.
We have reviewed And On That Bombshell, an insider’s view of Top Gear.