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How to replace Top Gear

4 months ago

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Daniel Forster | Young writer


5 January 2024

In the world of automotive media, the phrase ‘a changing of the guard’ has been floating around for a while now. Sales of print magazines have been falling for years, fewer young people are learning to drive and, the nail in the coffin, Top Gear is now on indefinite hiatus.

No one, not even at the BBC, knows when or if it will be back. This news, along with Clarkson, Hammond and May hanging up their Grand Tour driving shoes, has left many a petrolhead wondering what possible future remains for mainstream, large budget automotive content on traditional platforms. Contrast that, if you will, with the rise in quality of independent automotive media on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

It’s clear to me that the studio-based Top Gear with its triumvirate of presenters is a tired format. While the post-Clarkson Top Gear had some memorable moments with excellent hosts, it never matched its predecessor’s popularity. And with The Grand Tour doing everything short of using a car to jump the shark, I’d argue a successful show should move away from the mainstream car-comedy angle and, instead of pretending that loving cars is not an increasingly niche passion, embrace the fact.

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