Top Gear series 29 scraps overseas shoots to complete filming

The motoring programme's debut BBC One series is planning to resume production in June.

Top Gear - series 28

The next series of Top Gear, the show’s first to air on BBC One, will scrap plans for overseas filming as production resumes.

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Though around 50 per cent of the new series was already filmed before production was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, including a jaunt to Cyprus, plans for further internal adventures have had to be dropped, according to Deadline.

Instead, the majority of the new series will be shot in British locations when filming resumes in June.

“It does look like most of our filming will be in the UK this year,” said showrunner Clare Pizey.

“Luckily for us, we had filmed some international and domestic mayhem before the lockdown started, and already have some really funny footage — footage that we absolutely could not film now with all three presenters in a car together,” Pizey says.

Pizey promised that while the next series of Top Gear will feel more domestic than usual, that “doesn’t mean less ambition” as the motoring programme – hosted by Paddy McGuinness, Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff and Chris Harris – makes the leap from BBC Two to BBC One.

Top Gear series 28 - Paddy McGuiness
BBC Studios/Lee Brimble

Though certain restrictions will be put into place when Top Gear resumes, McGuinness, Flintoff and Harris will reportedly not be quarantined ahead of filming, with Top Gear producers confident that the majority of filming will take place outside, or within cars – with the hosts naturally self-isolating.

There are also still plans for the show’s studio shoots to feature a live audience, though the number of spectators may have to be reduced from the normal amount of up to 600 people.

Since making their debut last year, Top Gear’s new hosting line-up has attracted an average consolidated audience of 3.8 million viewers, making the show BBC Two’s most popular programme of 2019.

It was confirmed in February that the show would be moving to BBC One, with Charlotte Moore – the BBC’s Director of Content – saying, “The time is right to move the world’s best motor show to the nation’s most popular channel and bring it to an even broader audience on BBC One.

“Freddie, Paddy and Chris have revitalised the hit series with their escapades and banter; and we couldn’t have asked for a better response to their series so far and the impact it’s had with young audiences.”

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