Top Gear set to move to BBC One for first time in its history

The move comes after a ratings boost and positive reception to the new hosting team

Top Gear presenters

Top Gear is set to be leaving BBC Two, where it has aired for nearly 18 years, to move to a primetime slot on BBC One for the first time ever.

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The motoring series launched by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May underwent a wobbly transition period when the original hosts left, but the latest series has received strong reviews from critics, as well as a welcome ratings boost.

Currently, the presenting team is comprised of comedian Paddy McGuinness, former cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and motoring journalist Chris Harris.

Top Gear returned last month to 4.2 million viewers, a considerable increase on 2018’s numbers, with particular success among younger viewers.

The show’s current format is not expected to change as part of the move, which is set to come into effect with the start of the 29th series.

Top Gear joins the likes of Peaky Blinders and The Great British Bake Off (before it moved to Channel 4) as shows that have made made the jump from BBC Two to BBC One.

Andy Wilman, former Top Gear executive producer, and Jeremy Clarkson were reportedly against the move when they were involved with the show, with Wilman telling Deadline: “We never went to BBC One, we always wanted to be a big dog on BBC Two because your numbers look great, whereas they get buried in BBC One.”

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Series 28 of Top Gear continues on BBC Two at 8pm on Sunday 9th February