Top Gear is set to return with a new season this May; a relaunch of sorts since the departure of presenting trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. While those three have moved over to Amazon Prime to front a new motoring show, the BBC have launched a new presenting lineup for its popular show, now in its 39th year (and 23rd season). Chris Evans – the radio and TV presenter and not Captain America, will front the new-style show alongside former Friends actor, Matt Le Blanc. The lineup is completed by Formula One pundit Eddie Jordan, racing driver Sabine Schmitz, YouTube star Chris Harris, journalist Rory Reid and of course, The Stig.
Ahead of Top Gear season 23’s arrival on our TV screens, the BBC have dropped a trailer online, featuring glimpses at the new lineup – though it is mainly Evans and Le Blanc who are featured here. Give it a watch, above.
In many ways, season 23 thus far seems like the Top Gear of old, though maybe with slightly more focus on the faster, more powerful cars – possibly to be expected given two of the new presenters have a racing background, and Evans and Le Blanc are known for their love of speed. In fact, at one point in the trailer, Schmitz has been driving so fast that she has to stop for Evans to lose his lunch. The season has been shot in the U.K, U.S., France, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates. Cars featured include a Ferrari F12 TDF, and Ariel Nomad, and an Aston Martin Vulcan. There’s also the traditional challenges given to presenters where somehow they end up the butt of the joke; in this case it’s Le Blanc as he attempts to drive a Robin Reliant from Blackpool to London.
This new Top Gear season has a lot to live up to; Clarkson et al were well-loved by the British public and were largely responsible for the popularity Top Gear enjoyed. The show has now been off our screens for nearly a year, and some of the new presenter choices have been met with skepticism. Filming of the show has not been without its fair share of controversy either; from rumors that Evans finds it nearly impossible to talk to camera while driving at speed, to the uproar from the British public when racing scenes were filmed by the Cenotaph war memorial, this new lineup is going to have to work hard to win the public over.
With the right stunts, the right knowledge and the right presenting skills, this could well be possible…but it remains to be seen if Evans, Le Blanc and co have all that is needed to please the Top Gear-loving masses. Meanwhile, Clarkson, Hammond and May are filming for their new motoring show, which will premiere on Amazon Prime in the Fall.
Top Gear returns to BBC 1 and BBC America this May.
Source: BBC America