Ever since the “fracas” Top Gear has been a hot button issue. Undeterred the BBC re-cast the immensely popular motoring show almost immediately. Now the re–cast Top Gear is just days away from its premiere. While Top Gear is almost here another British car show has been recently canceled. Via twitter Tiff Needell officially announced the cancelation of Fifth Gear. While entertaining in its own rite Fifth Gear always lived in the rebooted Top Gear’s shadow. It was always a show that never gained any real traction and seemed to have 1 foot in the grave for a while now. While it is sad to see a good program get the axe there could be a silver lining. If the BBC was smart they would hire Needell immediately.
The new cast has various levels of on screen experience. For some that actually means hosting a motoring show, for others this is their first attempt. Tiff Needell has more experience not only hosting a motoring show, but more experience hosting Top Gear than the entire new cast combined. As you may or may not know Mr. Needell actually hosted the original Top Gear with one Jeremy Clarkson. From 1987 to 2001 Tiff Needell hosted Top Gear with Clarkson and others until the decision was made to re-boot the show in 2001. Needell continued with the original format with Fifth Gear. In addition to his impressive racing resume, which includes a 3rd place finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, his combined experience of 29 years in front of the camera would lend a certain credibility to the New Top Gear cast. Credibility that some believe it is lacking.
I think the current cast is pushing the limits of size. Obviously adding an additional cast member won’t help. However the BBC has a unique chance here to add someone with Tiff’s talent and experience. It may have been canceled but make no mistake, Fifth Gear was successful. Most shows don’t last beyond 8 years let alone the 15 year run Fifth Gear had.