Airs: Thursday 2:40PM
Top Gear is a BBC television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous style.
Awarded Most Popular Factual Programme for the second year running at the 2008 National Television Awards in London and with local versions now licensed to Russia and Australia, Top Gear continues to gather pace both at home and abroad. Broadcast in over 100 countries worldwide, it has a dedicated fan base around the world. In the UK it consistently achieves ratings of over 7 million, and is BBC Two’s second most watched programme. Its popularity has lead to the development of consumer products including a Live Theatre Show, that aim to extend the audience’s enjoyment of the brand beyond the TV programme.
Top Gear takes the public’s passion for cars, strips away the boring stats, adds enthusiasm, thrilling stunts and challenges to bring an entertainment format that is accessible to a broader audience. Most of all, Top Gear is about having fun. Here, cars are just the starting point for epic road trips, over-ambitious stunts, and lashings of good old-fashioned mucking about by presenters and celebrities who really should know better.
Meet the team:
Jeremy Clarkson was born April 11, 1960, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. His early career started in the local press, with Jeremy training as a Journalist before landing his first television presenting role on Top Gear between 1988 and 2000. However the show initially wasn't a massive success and a lot of the team shifted over to Channel Five to make a rival version. But Clarkson was kept on for a re-vamped Top Gear.
Remember Robot Wars on BBC Two? Jeremy used to present it! He's also been seen on Room 101, Parkinson and Grumpy Old Men. In addition to starring on the Emmy-winning show -Top Gear, his columns also appear regularly in The Sunday Times and The Sun.
Richard Hammond has had a very long, glittering media career which started way back in BBC local radio. He was a presenter on BBC Radio York, Leeds, Cumbria and Lancashire before he was given a job presenting whatever rubbish was served up on little-watched satellite channel, Men & Motors. But Richard has quite literally been 'around the block' when it comes to television presenting. ITV gave Richard a show called The 5 O'Clock Show.
In September 2006 Richard hit the headlines - and the tarmac - during a stunt for Top Gear. He was in the driving seat of a jet-powered car in true Wacky Races style (travelling at approximately 300mph) when it crashed, flipping over and landing in a bit of wreck. Richard was in hospital (and likely close to death) for several weeks but made what can only be described as a bit of a miracle recovery, leaving hospital in a matter of weeks. One of Richard's best presenting jobs would have to be BBC One's Total Wipeout.
James May was born on 16 January 1963 in Bristol, England, UK. Apart from co-hosting Top Gear, he is also a journalist - he writes a weekly column for "The Daily Telegraph" newspaper, as well as regular contributions to Top Gear magazine. James attended Oakwood Technology College (1975-1980) and studied music at Lancaster University (1981-1983). He began his journalism career as a sub-editor for Autocar and The Engineer magazines before his vast motoring knowledge landed him his current job as a television presenter. On Top Gear James is known as "Captain Slow" as he regularly finishes last in their high speed track races, as well as for his laconic presenting style. James currently lives in Hammersmith, London, with his cat, Fusker. He is unmarried and has no children.
Jason Dawe was born and raised in Cornwall, in the UK, and worked at auto dealerships and as a motoring industry trainer. Dawe became a presenter on Top Gear's first series after it was relaunched in 2002. His main part in the show was to present different bargains for cars, as opposed to the super car reviews and entertaining motoring challenges, which were done by Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. James May replaced Jason as the third presenter in Top Gear's second post-relaunch series. Dawe is a regular columnist in The Sunday Times motoring section, where he has written extensively about used cars. Together with Nick Rufford of The Sunday Times he has also made many video broadcasts of car reviews. He writes for many other motoring magazines and is a regular contributor to radio and TV shows as a motoring expert. Dawe co-hosts the Used Car Roadshow and Men & Motors.