Topgear super Sunday

"The Lads" Unofficial title

So the world’s biggest car show returned to our screens last night with the three lads in top form, they reviewed a Bentley, blew up a chimney, drove up a volcano, killed the Lacetti and showed us the new reasonably priced car, a Kia Cee’d; it was brilliant.
In the weeks before the show aired there were promises made on the Topgear web site, we will be better than before, we can change, and we will try to keep the internet happy too. But hang on, I have been watching Topgear since the old type was on TV with Noel Edmunds, Quentin Wilson, Tiff Needell and many others including Clarkson; would drive some car up a road and tell us how it feels. I’ve seen all the new format Topgear as well with Jason Dawe, even Edd China put in an appearance. But when James may joined the pairing of Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson some how the show really caught on.
Over the years they have entertained us with various antics, £10,000 supercars, DB9 races train, Veron races plane, sail across the English Chanel in a car, the list goes on. Every time a new series starts we all wait with baited breath to see what craziness “the lads” will get up too this time. Love it, hate it or just watch it so you can complain about something Clarkson said Topgear is a great entertainer.
It’s the benchmark for all other car shows on TV, 5th Gear, another great car show, do their best but have never quite nailed the right mix of presenters, being hived away on Five doesn’t help their cause but Dave has helped them. TV3 had a go at making a car show, it was called Accelerate. It was announced in the Herald as “Move over Jeremy Clarkson, Ireland is set to get its very own version of Top Gear.” After the first episode the internet came alive with “it’s a Topgear copy” and “Accelerate is crap”. It wasn’t all that bad, it tried to hard, but a rival for Topgear…no.
So you see the problem any other car show has, everything they do either has been done or will be done by the Monster Topgear. This Autumn RTE are trying another car show, testing drivers abilities and rewarding them with an F1 training session, again it was reported in the Herald as “In a bid to rival Top Gear, RTE2 have come up with their own twist on the hit BBC show.” Even the presenter Neil Briscoe (who was the front man for Accelerate) is keen to play down the comparison saying “Ultimately the cars aren’t the centre of the show,” “Ultimately the ambition is to have six members of the public drive different vehicles, and then we’ll take people who scored the best and reward them”. So RTE have come up with “Ireland’s got driving Talent”. If you’re going to start off by comparing yourself to the worlds biggest car show you have to be:
1. Mad
2. Better than Topgear
3. Suicidal
Topgear must be the hardest show in the world to create, especially when you consider the only competition you have is yourself. Andy Wilman does a fantastic job at staying current and adapting the format to suit the feedback, but it’s the three front men who breathe life into the show, it’s the mix of personalities and their passion for all things automotive that has kept Topgear at the top of the BBC2 ratings.
The Topgear phenomenon marches on with live shows, annuals, tee-shirts and The Stig. You can say what you like about the show, like it or not, you can’t knock its marketability.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, and the series after that. I do hope Andy and the three lads stop listening to the internet people and just get on with doing what excites them, driving cars and having a laugh.
Long live Topgear.

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