Start Your Engines! Behind The Scenes Facts Of Top Gear

Top Gear was originally a 1977 30-minute long magazine television show on BBC that showed off cars and their features to the audience. Although the show did well for itself for a time, it was revitalized in a new format in 2002 starring Jeremy Clarkson, quickly becoming one of the longest-watched shows on the network and the most-watched show in history. With the focus still on cars, the new series added entertaining hosts, road challenges, and other entertaining aspects that made it so popular. Take a look under the hood for some behind the scenes facts about the series that even the biggest car fanatics don’t know.

Jeremy Clarkson Brought Both Death And Life To The Show

Host Jeremy Clarkson joined the Top Gear team in 1988 when it was still in its original format as a half-hour motoring magazine show. Because of the show, Clarkson made a name for himself, which gave way to bigger and better opportunities, leading him to quit the show in 1999 to follow his television career.

Picture of Jeremy Clarkson
Hannah Peters/Getty Images
Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Yet, when he left, the show’s audiences plummeted from 6 million viewers to just 3 million. Luckily, when he returned 3 years later in 2002 with the show’s new format, it shot back up in popularity once again.