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Top Gear

Genres: Magazine, Science/Technology
Broadcast on: SABC3, BBC Entertainment, BBC Prime, BBC Knowledge

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Seasons

Season 18

Channel Premiere Finale TX Time Episodes
BBC Two 29 Jan 2012 11 Mar 2012 Sundays 7
BBC Entertainment 08 Feb 2012 21 Mar 2012 Wednesdays, 20h00 - 21h00 7
BBC Knowledge 13 Apr 2012 25 May 2012 Fridays, 21h00 - 22h00 7
SABC3 09 Jun 2013 28 Jul 2013 Sundays, 17h00 - 18h00 7


Season 18

Kicking off with a new Top Gear, Season 18 follows a few days after the UK transmission of the series, on BBC Entertainment.

Top Gear could be said to be ultimate boys' club, but also one that through its tone and style is accessible to everyone – over 40% of the show's viewers in the UK are female.

Irreverent, witty and unbiased, the format takes cars to the limit and beyond to find out if they're any good or not. If you want to know how big the boot is, look elsewhere.
 
Full of stunts, challenges and special features, the format is self-deprecating, inclusive and passionate – there are no boring stats and impenetrable conversations about camshafts and tyre pressures.

Instead you get authoritative information and entertainment. Here, cars are just the starting point for epic road trips, over-ambitious projects – and lashings of good old-fashioned mucking about.

In the first of a brand new season, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May head to Italy for a supercar shootout featuring the Lamborghini Aventador, the McLaren MP4-12C and the Noble M600.

Their trip starts at the incredible Nardo test track, a facility so massive it is visible from space, before heading north for a nerve-wracking drive around the centre of Rome.

The journey concludes at the legendary Imola circuit, a track challenging enough to have embarrassed many an F1 driver, with a timed challenge against the incredible skills of The Stig. 

Back in the studio, the presenters look forward to some car highlights of 2012 and another top celebrity guest takes the wheel of the Reasonably Priced Car.

Format

The show often features the following segments, amongst others:

Races

The show has featured a number of races where Jeremy Clarkson races a car against other forms of transport, usually involving Richard Hammond and James May taking the same journey by any combinations of plane, train, ferry or bus.

Reviews

Top Gear normally reviews one new car, or group of cars, each week. It's became hugely influential with motor manufacturers, since a critical word from the Top Gear team could have a severely negative effect on sales.

The Top Gear reports are not based on facts or figures, but the opinions of the presenters. Group tests normally involve the three presenters debating the merits and weaknesses of each car.

Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car

In each programme, a celebrity is interviewed by Jeremy Clarkson, and focuses usually on car-related topics and often on cars owned by the celebs themselves.

The guest is whisked off to the Top Gear race track where he/she tries to get the fastest lap time in a Chevrolet.

The fastest lap time is held by The Stig, and guests who have attempted to beat his time have included Simon Cowell, Jamie Oliver and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

Power Laps

In the Power Laps segment, The Stig completes a lap around the Top Gear test track to determine the performance of various cars. The car tested is usually the car that's been reviewed in that episode, but occasionally it can be a car from a previous episode.

The Cool Wall

The Cool Wall is a board where Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond decide which cars are cool, and which aren't, and has nothing to do with how good or bad a car is. The categories are Sub Zero, Cool, Uncool and Seriously Uncool.

Initially, part of that "coolness" factor rested on the extent to which the presenters believed each car would impress English actress Kristin Scott Thomas.

BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce replaced Kristin as their notional judge, after Kristin stated in an interview that she owned a Honda, which was deemed to be "Uncool".


Season 18 Cast

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Presenter - Himself

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