Fresh off of their earning the “Most watched factual television program ” record from Guinness and Clarkson’s riveting and tear-jerking speech regarding said win, the folks at BBC decided it was time to reward the Top Gear boys with a new contract. So now we get another three years of hearing James May, Richard Hammond, and Jeremy Clarkson talk about and beat the living crap out of cars.
On top of renewing the boys, BBC also bought out the remaining 50-percent share of Bedder 6, the company that Clarkson and Top Gear producer, Andy Wilman, own. Bedder 6 also happens to own the commercial rights to Top Gear, so not only does the BBC now have its hosts locked up for three years, but sole ownership of the entire series indefinitely.
Part of the deal the trio signed requires heavier global promotion of the show, so you can expect more Top Gear shenanigans going on in random parts of the world. Top Gear fans are getting everything they ever wanted: more Clarkson, Mays, and Hammond, more global Top Gear promotion, and indefinite Top Gear airing all in one quick swipe of a pen.
Congrats to the Clarkson and his cohorts, and we look forward to seeing more of them.
No true automotive junky can channel surf past Top Gear without at least stopping for a few minutes. Even if you can’t stand the show; the cars are bad ass, the driving is borderline insane, and Jeremy Clarkson’s snarly, sarcastic and brash attempts at humor are downright unsettling. That’s pretty much exactly what we love about the show.
Well, this extremely popular show – now watched in 212 territories around the world – has officially been named the “Most Watched Factual TV Program” by Guinness World Record. As expected, Jeremy Clarkson was front and center to accept the award with the rather bland “I am very proud to be associated with such a factual program” statement. Oh Jeremy, you are man of so many words…
Regardless of the “Eh, whatever” response, we tip our hats to the empire the Clarkson and his cohorts have built since 1977.
We tried finding out who owned the record before Top Gear, but the record seems to not exist in the 2012 edition of the book… Hm, interesting… We did, however, find out that you can submit your own world record. We wonder if there is a weird publicity stunt behind all of this. Nah, they would never…
Plus, Clarkson just looks oh so happy holding that plaque in the press image.
Anyone who has Internetted before is likely well aware of how YouTube works. Legally, YouTube is a place where people go to upload their own random videos for people to see. In the real world, YouTube is a place where people steal other people’s videos and post them online, pawning them off as their own until YouTube shuts them down. Then the user just changes his user name, reposts the video, then repeat...
Sometimes, companies do actually use YouTube to promote their TV shows and movies, and the BBC is one of the biggest to do so. It is not uncommon to see 9 or so, minutes of “TopGear” and “Nigella Lawson” on YouTube for “promotional purposes.” In the UK, the Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) regulates on-demand videos and forces all companies to sign up and pay fees for TV-like programs on places like YouTube.
Well, the ATVOD is now calling these 9-minute pieces TV-like programs and are requiring the BBC to pony up ₤2,900 ($4,601 at the current exchange rates) per channel on YouTube for said programming.
The BBC is now appealing to the governing sector of its government, the Office of Communications (Ofcom) to have this matter resolved. The BBC actually operates its own On-Demand TV service and pays the fees related to it, as required by law, but it feels the YouTube videos are “short form” and are not typically watched at home.
We’ll keep an eye on this story, but we are pretty certain that the BBC will come out of this still paying a little money due to this odd law.
In the latest installment of our Car Infographics series, we have a very special image with all the information you could ever want about the Top Gear test track. This infographic takes an in depth at the fastest cars to have ever lapped the Lotus-designed test track, whose layout “is designed to push a car to its limit and really show the strengths and weaknesses of each car tested.”
Additionally, a number of awards help to conclude the informative infographic with the illustrious award of “Most Affordable Speed” going to the incredible Ariel Atom 2 which managed to lap the Top Gear test track in just 1:19.50 when it aired in Season 5, Episode 9.
Before you head over the jump to check out the infographic in detail, keep in mind that the initial illustration may take a bit of time to understand and may require flipping your computer screen upside down. It may even seem as if you’re trying to lick your shoulder when trying to read the upside down writing!
Six episodes will air in the lead up to 2013, and after the New Year, a further 10 episodes will conclude the third season, totaling 16 episodes all together.
Co-presenter Rutledge Wood confirmed the news recently via his Twitter account stating “So happy it’s out! #TopGear on@HistoryChannel returns Aug 14th 9pm! 6 New shows, then 10 more after new year! You guys will love them!”
We have no idea what the trio of presenters have planned for us this time around, but it’s sure to be an epic season full of all the crazy adventures that the second half of the second season delivered. Add to that the always enjoyable segments of Big Star Small Car and new performance tests, and there’s no question that season 3 of Top Gear USA should be the best yet.
Are you as excited about this news as us, or is Top Gear USA simply not your cup of tea?
We absolutely love daredevil antics in cars and on motorcycles, given they are done safely and by professionals. The folks at Top Gear Live are just about to satisfy our craving by pulling off the first 720 on four wheels, which Top Gear has dubbed the “Deadly 720.” The term “720” refers to a pair of 360-degree loops in succession, so absolute perfection is required to succeed in tackling each loop.
To give you an idea of just how much precision is needed, the engineers heading up the stunt have estimated that the customized buggy that Top Gear Live is using for this stunt must enter each loop between 24 and 26 mph, 2 mph more could result in excessive G-force and result in the driver blacking out and 2 mph too low would cause the buggy to fall from the loop. To help avoid driver error, Top Gear has fitted the special stunt buggy with an accelerator lock that will hold the accelerator in a precise position to maintain the prescribed speed, so the driver can focus only on keeping the buggy on the 58-meter-long track.
Despite the accelerator lock, we all know that any given car can run drastically different from one day to the next, so even with the lock, there is still a great possibility that the car will have too much or too little speed and we will see a spectacular crash. We are pretty certain that there will be tons of test runs on the actual day to make sure the car is perfect, so a crash is very unlikely.
Crash or not, we are all set to see history take place at the Top Gear Festival in the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa on June 16th – 17th, 2012. Ah, the things people will do to get in a record book.
UPDATE 06/19/2012: The group at Top Gear finally attempted the “Deadly 720” this weekend, and just as expected… It all went exactly to plan. This places the Top Gear Live clan in the Guinness Book of World Record for the most loops by an automobile. Congrats to our Top Gear daredevils. We have also attached a video of the stunt (above). Hit the one minute mark to skip the introductions.
Click past the jump to read Top Gear’s full press release.
James May, one of the three stars from Top Gear, had the chance to drive the amazing Bugatti Veyron SuperSport recently. Nicknamed "Captain Slow," May is anything but slow as he took the SuperSport on the Volkswagen Group’s private Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany where he managed to hit an incredible top speed of 417km/h or the equivalent of 259mph.
So how does the world’s second fastest man celebrate?! Check out his great victory dance!
The Bugatti Veyron SuperSport is powered by a 16-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 1200 HP and a peak torque of 1106 lbs-ft. The car can sprint from 0 to 60 mph is just 2.5 seconds and goes to an impressive top speed of 267 mph. However, this impressive supercar comes with a huge price: $2.4 million. So you can imagine that not many people will be able to drive one, let alone own it.
Top Gear is beloved by nearly every automotive buff and we all have a great respect for the oft-controversial Jeremy Clarkson. Not only is his automotive knowledge about as in-tune as you can get, but he is also a royal ass sometimes, which we enjoy, most of the time. Well apparently folks in West Mickley in the U.K., he is even respected as a traffic cop.
A young man got tired of seeing drivers flying through his small village well in excess of the village’s 30 mph posted speed limit. Instead of calling the police or lobbying to have other speed control devices (i.e. rumble strips or speed humps) installed, he built a police officer scarecrow, which we will be the first to dub it a “scareslow,” and set it up on the side of the road as you enter the village.
This scareslow is decked out with a toy police officer hat – you know, the funny little plastic domed hats – and a bright yellow high-visibility vest. In the scareslow’s left hand is a small hair drier that is used to simulate a radar gun. Topping off the entire garb is the face of none other than U.K. automotive super celebrity, Jeremy Clarkson! The young man that made this getup decided that a printed face of Clarkson glued to this scareslow was the ultimate finishing touch.
The BBC report says that they are not too sure what exactly makes traffic slow down when seeing this contraption. It is either the sheer realism of it – rather doubtful – or people simply gawking this creation allows them to realize that this is a village with a 30 mph speed limit. The latter is the most likely of scenarios, but it is an innovative way to self-regulate traffic.
Hats off to this man for using his noggin in finding a way to effectively slow down traffic through his village.
Not only does the Nissan DeltaWing prototype resemble something out of batman rather than a racer which will take up a grid position at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, but it may also suggest what the future of racing could look like. Unfortunately for many motoring enthusiasts, that does include the elongated, tapered front end and the aircraft inspired hind quarters.
However, the effectiveness of this design will not be proven until after the Le Mans endurance race and despite the car being largely experimental, the guys over at Top Gear recently teamed up with English car customizer, Andy Saunders, to produce a replica of the DeltaWing concept.
Andy Saunders is no rookie when it comes to producing the weird and wacky , and his very own DeltaWing will be testament to the belief that what’s worth doing, is worth overdoing. In order to create the one-off piece of art, Saunders will search the scrap heap for components which not only resemble certain elements of the original but can also be tweaked to get the look just right.
So far, Saunders has borrowed the wheels from a Ford Mondeo , the rear axle from a Ford Escort , and has combined components from the Fiat 126 and Morris 1000 bonnet to shape the rear deck of the car.
And that list will continue to grow as the rear pod sections will be created from old Mazda MX-5 bumpers, while the “DeltaWing kick-ups on the rear” will be formed around the air intakes of Australia’s last F1 champion, Alan Jones’ 1975 Formula One racer.
It’s currently unclear what engine, drivetrain, and transmission Saunders plans to utilize for the car, but you can be sure of two things: they’ll be recycled and when finished, the Top Gear DeltaWing will be significantly heavier, less powerful, and slower than the real racer.
Nonetheless, we respect Saunders’ ambition and wish him all the best!
In the past few years, we’ve become so accustomed to Top Gear airing two seasons annually that when we heard a report that Top Gear wouldn’t return until next year, we were almost blown our off our chairs, quite literally.
The last couple of seasons have begun with a Christmas special while the remaining episodes of that season air in the weeks after the calendar ticks over for another year, before the ever-hilarious British show returns for our viewing pleasure in the later-half of the year. However, if Jeremy Clarkson is to be believed, and on this issue he definitely is as he hosts the show, Top Gear won’t return this year, meaning we’ll just have to settle for watching old re-runs.
Clarkson broke the news while talking to South African radio show Ballz Visual Radio stating, "There’s no Top Gear on this year." So the rest is pretty self-explanatory, right? Well, not exactly as it’s unclear just why Top Gear won’t be adding a nineteenth season this year, but we suspect a few factors could be at play.
First and foremost the Olympic Games in London kick off on the 27th of July, right around the time a new season of Top Gear would premiere and the show’s producers obviously cannot compete with the viewing audience which will be glued to their TV’s watching the Olympics. Another possible reason for the delay is rising production costs needed for producing the show and perhaps the BBC is saving up cash to deliver one balls-out, full-on, epic season of Top Gear annually.
Check out the video of the telephone interview below and tell us, why do you think Top Gear won’t appear until 2013?