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Top Gear/At a Glance

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Basic Information

  • Full Name: Top Gear
  • Premiere Date: November 20, 2002
  • Finale Date: still airing
  • Networks:
    • BBC2 (2002-present)
  • Airtimes:
    • BBC2: Sundays at 8PM.

International Viewings


  • The first season was presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and Jason Dawe. Jason Dawe's contribution to the first season was mainly presenting different bargains for used and new cars in a segment called "Insider Trading." He would also join Clarkson and Hammond for the news segment. Dawe was replaced by James May in the second season, and May has held the third presenter spot since then. In the eighth season, a new "co-host" was added to the show — a labradoodle aptly named "Top Gear Dog." Top Gear Dog mainly laid about the studio, but ventured out into the world on a caravan holiday with the boys. In the ninth season, Top Gear Dog disappeared from the studio segments.
  • The Discovery Channel aired Top Gear in the US in 2005, but was eventually canceled. The US Top Gear featured heavily edited segments in order to fit in commercial breaks, the removal of the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, and the presenters filmed new in-studio disussions for the benefit of the American audience. A completely new US Top Gear pilot has been filmed in the United States, with American presenters and The Stig being flown over to run the cars around the American test track. It remains to be seen if this US Top Gear will be picked up as a series.
  • Top Gear is filmed at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Dunsfold, Surrery, England. Dunsfold Aerodrome was used by British Aerospace to flight test aircraft such as the Harrier Jump Jet. British Aerospace closed its facility in 2002 and it has since been renamed Dunsfold Park.
  • The last corner of the Top Gear test track is named "Gambon Corner" after actor Michael Gambon. During his Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, Michael Gambon nearly flipped the Suzuki Liana while trying to make it around the corner.
  • The Stig, Top Gear's "tame racing driver", never speaks a word and his face is never shown. In the first two seasons, the Stig was Perry McCarthy, a former Formula One driver and test driver for several Formula One teams. After the Stig's demise at the beginning of the third season, a new Stig took over from McCarthy. In March of 2006, McCarthy revealed that there is no one single test driver acting as the Stig, rather there are multiple test drivers. This would seem to be the case especially for the more rarer cars sent around the test track. The Maserati MC12, privately owned by a property developer, was apparently driven by the owner as it was supposedly the only one in the country at the time and only one of about fifty in existence. In addition, the Renault R24 F1 car was apparently driven by a Renault F1 test driver, Heikki Kovalainen.

Awards and Accolades

BAFTA Awards


(1 Nomination, 0 Wins)

  • Nominated: Best Features
Andy Wilman, Gary Hunter, Jeremy Clarkson


(1 Nomination, 1 Win)

  • Won: Best Features
Andy Wilman, Jeremy Clarkson, Gary Broadhurst


(2 Nomination, 0 Wins)

  • Nominated: Best Entertainment Performance
Jeremy Clarkson
  • Nominated: Best Features

International Emmys


(1 Nomination, 1 Win)

  • Won: Non-Scripted Entertainment
BBC Documentaries & Contemporary Factual for BBC2

National Television Awards, UK


(1 Nomination, 0 Wins)

  • Nominated: Most Popular Factual Program


(2 Nominations, 0 Wins)

  • Nominated: Most Popular Factual Program
  • Nominated: Most Popular TV Expert
Jeremy Clarkson