When will Top Gear return? Everything you need to know about the 29th series

The motoring show is moving to another channel for the next series

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 04/02/2020 - Programme Name: Top Gear Series 28 - TX: n/a - Episode: Top Gear Series 28 (No. 3) - Picture Shows:  Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris - (C) BBC Studios - Photographer: BBC Studios

Fans of Top Gear don’t have long to wait for their beloved motoring show to come back on the BBC, with the the newly-released trailer saying the boys will be back “soon”.


The series has now been filmed – using very fitting social distancing techniques – and will see Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris present at a drive-in!

And as if the show couldn’t get any bigger or better, it’s been confirmed Top Gear will move from BBC Two to BBC One for the 29th series.

Although most of overseas Top Gear filming had to be scrapped, we’re still going to get our dose of cheekiness, banter and some fantastic vehicles.

So when is the next series on? Here’s everything we know about Top Gear so far.

When is the next series of Top Gear on?

It’s been confirmed announced that the motoring series will return on Sunday, 4th October – now in its new home of BBC One.

Last year, Top Gear aired three series – first in February, then in June and December – so it originally seemed likely that fans could see another series this summer, but given the COVID-19 pandemic it’s likely that this could be slightly later than originally planned.

Filming on the series, including several overseas trips, was underway before the pandemic hit but was put on hold as production stalled across the industry.

In a bid to finish the series with as little delay as possible, in May the production team took the decision to scrap all remaining filming in overseas locations and instead focused on items based within the UK.

“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 said.

Filming eventually resumed on June 12th – starting with an electric car race around Staffordshire’s empty Alton Towers Resort.

Pizey commented, “We are so pleased to be able to start filming again and a deserted theme park is a great place to start. If what we’ve shot so far is anything to go by, social distancing doesn’t get in the way of Paddy, Freddy and Chris having a brilliant time and causing mayhem along the way.”

And in good news for fans, the series has recorded its first show in front of an audience – but with a twist.

Paddy, Freddie and Chris welcomed audience members in their cars to pull up and watch the show. A drive-in show is certainly fitting for Top Gear, after all.

Is there a trailer for the new series of Top Gear?

Yes! Released in mid-September, the trailer shows off the aftermath of Paddy McGuinness’ crash in a Lamborghini Diablo, as well as a host of other stunts including a ski-chase slalom in hire cares, a Wall Of Death in Alexandra Palace (where the hosts have to drive near-vertically) and a race in 80s and 90s-era supercars.

You can check out all the drama and action above, though intriguingly no release date has yet been given.

What channel will Top Gear be on?

Top Gear will be moving from BBC Two to BBC One for its 29th series, after its huge success on the former channel.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, confirmed the news after it was revealed by presenters Freddie and Chris on BBC Breakfast recently.

She said: “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.”

Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Freddie Flintoff on Top Gear (BBC)

Since their debut on BBC Two last year June, Paddy, Freddie and Chris have managed to bring in big numbers for the revamped show.

The first episode attracted an average consolidated audience of 3.8 million viewers, making it the channel’s most popular programme of 2019.

The long-running entertainment show was also hugely popular amongst young audiences, occupying a spot in the top four shows on British television for 16-34-year olds during each week of its run.

What can viewers expect from the next series of Top Gear?

As usual, the hosts will be pushing their cars and themselves to the limit in the world’s biggest motoring show.

They’ll be travelling to new destinations and trying out some of the latest automobiles and vehicles to see if they really live up to what the manufacturer says, while keeping us entertained with their effortless banter.

And given the pandemic, the show will have a slightly more domestic look than usual – with several planned overseas jaunts having been scrapped due to the virus, although luckily some were filmed before production was halted.

But if you think the trio are taking it a little more cautiously in these troubled times you’re wrong. Paddy McGuinness had a mishap in a £250,000 Lamborghini Diablo when he lost control of it in the rain and “had a bit of a shunt” during filming in June.

Although he wasn’t hurt, he said: “If you’ve ever owned a Diablo or you’ve driven one you’ll know just as well as me, oh my god, she can be a cruel mistress, she can be a cruel mistress that one.”

And Clare Pizey has promised that the shift to a more home-grown focus “doesn’t mean less ambition” for the show – so it will be especially intriguing to see what McGuinness, Flintoff and Harris get up to this time round…

Who are the Top Gear presenters?

Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Freddie Flintoffwill be returning to co-present the show for its 29th series.

Paddy McGuinness

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

Many will recognise the TV star from ITV’s Take Me Out, which he presented for nine years from 2010.

He became known on the show for his hilarious catchphrases, including “No likey, no lighty!”.

He has also appeared in comedy shows The Comedy Lab and That Peter Kay Thing on Channel 4.

Speaking about the new approach to the show, Paddy  previously said: “It’s not as full on laddy as you might think. You can sit with your friends or your family and watch it on a Sunday night. You don’t have to be a petrolhead to get into it. Well, fingers crossed.” 

Chris Harris

Top Gear series 28 - Chris Harris
BBC Studios/Lee Brimble

Racing driver and car journalist Harris joined Top Gear’s presenting line up in 2016 for series 23.

On the BBC website, Harris is described as the best for “brutally honest, no-holds-barred automotive journalism” due to years of experience in the industry.

His YouTube channel Chris Harris On Cars has a huge following, attracting 426k subscribers at the time of writing, and he currently presents the online car review series Chris Harris Drives for topgear.com.

Freddie Flintoff

Top Gear series 28 - Freddie Flintoff
BBC Studios/Lee Brimble

Flintoff is best known for being an international cricketer for England, having made his professional debut in 1998. He won BBC Sports Personality Of The Year award in 2005 after winning the Ashes against Australia and in 2006 he was awarded an MBE.

Retiring from Test cricket in 2010, he then appeared on various shows and eventually teamed up with Paddy and Chris in 2019.

Speaking of his stint on the BBC motoring show, he said: “Doing [Top Gear] is brilliant. I’m not taking anyone on – we’ve got to try and do what’s best for this programme. If you’re thinking that then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.”

What happened on the last series of Top Gear?

The 28th series kicked off on 29 December 2019, and saw Paddy, Freddie and Chris head on a British summer holiday in super-cheap second-hand convertibles.

Chris tested out the new Ariel Atom on track, and Freddie attempted to bungee-jump an old Rover off a dam.

“At this point, I wish I’d done Strictly,” he said forlornly before the dive.

Further antics saw Harris racing a fighter jet, Paddy eating guinea pig and the boys racing while covered in industrial lube.

We wonder what they have in store for the new series…


Series 28 and previous episodes of Top Gear are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.