Top Gear, that little old BBC show about cars, is back. You might have heard.
This weekend will see the first episode of the post-Clarkson era, and, inevitably, there’s been plenty to talk about.
But forget the rumours about Chris Evans not being able to talk and drive or the rubbish about being sick after a race (if Sabine Schmitz was driving, you’d be puking too). What do you actually need to know about Top Gear with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc?
Ah, well, here’s where it gets a bit more complicated. We know, for example, that the much-loved but slightly shabby Top Gear test track has had a major upgrade, with a “considerably larger” budget than previous years.
What’s going to happen in the first episode of Top Gear?
The first guests will be chef Gordon Ramsay and The Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg.
As well as the celebs, there will be a US-UK race to Blackpool between Evans and LeBlanc in two Robin Rialtos (very similar to the Robin Reliants that Clarkson was so keen in playing around with).
There’s also a “celebration” of the 30th anniversary of Top Gun, with Evans in Nevada racing a 645bhp Dodge Viper ACR against Sabine Schmidt in a Chevy Corvette Z06.
And just to top it off, LeBlanc is in Morocco driving crazy dune buggy the Ariel Nomad.
Is it true that Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc don’t get on?
This is one of the major sticking points of the show. Clarkson, Hammond and May had years to develop their relationship. Evans had less than a year to pull his team together.
There have been numerous reports that the pair haven’t exactly seen eye to eye on everything, although LeBlanc was quick to pour cold water on that when Radio Times spoke to him ahead of the first episode.
“All this stuff that Chris and I are at war with each other is a big load of bulls**t,” he said. “We’ve never had a rift! I’m a true car fan. Chris is a true car fan. We’re hanging out, having a laugh, doing our best. He is an extremely smart guy. I’d beat him in a race, though – and you can tell him I said that.”
Where else have the Top Gear team been on location?
Oh, it’s been a busy shoot, from Morocco to South Africa via Italy, Kazakhstan, Ireland, the United States – and Blackpool of course.
How long will this last?
What, are you bored before it’s even begun? Chris Evans’s Top Gear deal is set to run for three years, alongside his BBC Radio 2 show.
Now there’s a question. Whatever happens this Sunday, it is sure to be the most talked-about show of the year so far.
Eddie Jordan, unsurprisingly, has proved the most bullish of the line-up so far, saying according to Mashable, “Of course we want to beat the other guys.” The other guys being Clarkson, Hammond and May.
“Yes we admire what they did, there’s no question about that,” he added. “The previous show was brilliant. But I think this will be a surprise for you guys. When you actually see what we did in South Africa and all the other shows I’ve seen, we’re going to be better.”
Nothing like a bit of fighting talk before the big race, hey Eddie?