‘Top Gear Australia’ television show to be revived – report
As the future of Top Gear TV remains under a cloud in the UK, secret plans about the revival of the show in Australia have surfaced – and industry insiders say production is due to start within months.
Top Gear Australia could make a surprise return to local TV screens, even though the future of the original UK version of the show remains under a cloud following a serious crash that injured one of its stars, former cricketer Freddie Flintoff, late last year.
After television industry website TV Blackbox broke the exclusive story last week about a possible revival of the Top Gear Australia motoring show, Drive has managed to unearth more details.
According to well-placed industry sources, the new version of Top Gear Australia will be produced by a BBC crew to be based here for three months over summer.
It is unclear at this stage who will host Top Gear Australia but Drive has been told an announcement is imminent.
Drive understands representatives for BBC have already canvassed a number of car companies in Australia for vehicles to test – including a new twist on the 'Star In A Reasonably Priced Car' segment, in which famous people test their skills on a closed course against a stopwatch.
Industry sources have told Drive production is due to start later this month and stretch into next year over a three-month period.
It is unclear if the program is being established for a one-off Australian special or an entire season based Down Under, but those familiar with the plans say it will be for a season of the popular motoring TV show.
Drive has been told one proposal is to broadcast Top Gear TV Australia on Channel 10 on a Sunday evening – rather than its former homes SBS or Nine (owner of Drive) – as well as via multiple streaming platforms such as Paramount Plus and the BBC's iPad app, though this is yet to be confirmed.
While TV Blackbox reports the show will be heading to Paramount Plus – an online subscription-based streaming website with ties to Channel 10 – other sources have suggested the show has been picked up by Amazon's online streaming website, Prime Video.
Drive has contacted Paramount Plus and Prime Video for comment.
Starring Warren Brown, Charlie Cox, Steve Pizzati, and James Morrison, Top Gear Australia ran for two seasons between 2008 and 2009 on SBS, before moving to Channel Nine for its third season with Shane Jacobson and Ewen Page presenting alongside Pizzati.
Season three was comprised of four episodes, airing in 2010, with just two episodes of season four understood to have been aired – one each in 2011 and 2012.
Top Gear Australia was axed by Channel Nine in 2011 when season four was halfway through production.
The original British Top Gear remains under a cloud, with the television show suspended indefinitely following a major car accident involving presenter Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff in late 2022, who sustained multiple facial injuries after reportedly rolling a three-wheeler Morgan.
Earlier this month, a spokesperson for BBC said a decision about Top Gear's future is yet to be made.