Top Gear: The Next Generation?

Posted: April 2, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The internet has been abuzz in recent days with the discussion as to whether the presenting team of one of the BBC’s flagship shows is staying together, given a high profile exit I feel no need to mention here. Given my own motoring inclinations, and an eventual link this year to other things, I thought I’d weigh in. Please note, what I’m NOT doing here is discussing what has already happened, the hows or whys, just a bit of meaningless speculation for now, with the knowledge of two things:  1) there now has to be a shake-up of the presenting team, whether it’s one person coming in or three and 2) the show has been in this position before , in a way, before the 2002 revamp.

So I got talking over lunch with a good friend of mine and we looked at it a slightly different way. Assuming the entire band decide they can’t go on as is, there are certain opportunities to make a new show for a new time. The show had changed from a fairly standard motor show to an action comedy series, along the way garnering a loyal bunch of fans mostly wondering what the hell the team were going to do next.

But for Top Gear, the show must go on. And so the inevitable question is, ‘with whom’? Here is a shortlist of people I’d personally love to see.

Jay Kay

Jay Kay TG

The return of the Space Cowboy may be a bit of an outside choice, not being a presenter and instead coming from a musical background. However, the Jamiroquai lead singer with huge success in the 90s and early 2000s has a well-known passion for cars, and a typical millionaire’s car collection. He’s even been a guest on the show four times, which practically makes him a co-presenter already.

With Chris Evans (no, not that one) categorically ruling himself out of the gig, perhaps our man Jay could be the better pick from the 90s. And he could certainly bring something new to the show by sporting a new hat every week.

Jodie Kidd

quentinand Jodie

[Image from http://www.motoringresearch.com]

Another previous guest on the show. Unlike Jay, Jodie does have previous experience with this sort of thing. She’s currently on another channel co-presenting The Classic Car Show, so it’d likely have to be quite some offer to coax her over to the BBC. But with acting experience on top of that, I can’t think of anyone better qualified to be part of any possible new team.

Idris Elba

Idris

AKA Driss, probably the longest shot on the list simply due to the whole Hollywood thing. But he finds time to come back and feed my Luther fix, so there’s hope yet. That’s of course if he isn’t already down to succeed Daniel Craig as the next Bond, which I’m not talking about here because there’s plenty of discussion of that happening already. But a friend of mine coincidentally shared this post about that exact same thing in a fit of comedy timing just as I’d thought of this post.

Previous experience? Well actually, I thought of him because of a show I happened to catch and enjoy immensely: King of Speed. He’s another one who is more than keen on his motors, and it goes without saying he’d probably find a show such as this second nature, given his big screen forays and playing to big crowds behind the decks too.

Given the BBC already brought us King of Speed and Luther, he’s already got a strong BBC connection, so it’s not perhaps as long a shot as I first thought. And naturally, he’d bring some genuine star power to the show.

Phillip Glenister

“Fire up the Quattro!”

D Tel 2.jpg

[image from iTelegraph.co.uk]

Like Idris, he has had a specialist car show already, For the Love of Cars on Channel 4. He’s another big enthusiast and thanks to that show, he has the background of renovating vehicles that need a bit of TLC and restoring them to their former glories. And as we’ve established, he has a very specific relationship with certain classic cars.

Of course, the great thing about picking all these busy people who are already well established in their various careers and positions, is that at least one will likely have to turn it down. Well, BBC, if the time passes and I turn out to be right with any or all of this business, I’d like to throw my hat into the ring. I’ll drive anything you want, likely be entertaining when you send me abroad, and I like to think I can write a little too. And I’ll probably work relatively cheap, long as you let me loose on the occasional Aston Martin. But that’s another post…

P.S. Any of you petrolheads out there want to tell me about cars you either have seen in your favourite reads or would like to? Drop me a comment, I’ll be keen to have a natter on that matter too!

me racing

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