Richard "Hamster" Hammond, Jeremy "Jezza" Clarkson, and James "Captain Slow" May. They like cars. "This... is a car programme. There will be no cushions, there will be no rag-rolling, no-one will sing, and at the end of the series, no-one will have a recording contract. This is our new base, and this is our purpose-built test track. There are no traffic jams here, ooh... apart from this one, and no bus-lanes either. This... is
— Jeremy Clarkson
"Top Gear: Ambitious but Rubbish!"Top Gear
— Also Jeremy Clarkson
is an award-winning (BAFTA/Emmy) BBC magazine series
about automobiles and motoring. It started in 1977 as a fairly conventional auto show, but after being revamped in 2002 (following a one-year cancellation in 2001-2) it took a turn to become more overtly humorous. The show is very popular, with an audience estimated at about 8 million per week on the BBC and around 350 million worldwide.
The show's appeal, which extends far beyond driving enthusiasts or even car-owners, is the interplay of the three presenters and what presenter James May referred to in an interview as "self-indulgent cocking-about." In addition to doing more conventional car test drives and reviews, it has undertaken a number of segments which feature unique and humorous premises. For more detailed examples of what cocking-about one might actually see, please check the Segments
The main presenters are:
And, like all versions of Top Gear
, the show would not be complete with out its voiceless
, faceless "tame racing driver"
, the Stig.
The show also has an official, legal and above-board YouTube channel
with abridged versions of various segments.
Becoming quite an international favorite, Top Gear
has spawned a number of localized spin-offs:
- The Australian version, obviously named Top Gear Australia. Sadly canceled in September 2011.
- An American version, which now has its own page.
- In Asia, there are Chinese, Russian, and Korean versions
- An unofficial German equivalent called D Motor, which features frequent Top Gear Sixth Ranger Sabine Schmidt among its hosts.
To add a frequently asked question, it has nothing to do with the driving game series on the SNES
, but does
have a relationship with the Forza
series for Xbox
. There was enough confusion about this, that the BBC sued Kemco, the publishers of that game (which is called Top Racer
in Japan). The Beeb holds copyright to the title several times over; the original use of the show name was way back in 1967 with the birth of Radio One. Left-field DJ John Peel
presented Top Gear with John Peel
that showcased the very best in avant-garde music, with comedy interludes from the sort of people who later became Monty Python
and the Bonzo-Dog Band.
This show is Troperiffic and currently nearing being Trope Overdosed. Therefore, examples have been split into multiple pages: