When will Top Gear return? Everything you need to know about the 31st series
Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness are back for a brand new series this November!
BBC One's Top Gear returned to our screens on Sunday, with Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris heading off on a few more car-based adventures for the show's 31st series.
Fans can expect a whole load of more shenanigans this weekend as well, with the trio setting out to revolutionise the world of caravanning whilst exploring the world of electric cars.
Meanwhile, Harris will be reviewing the brand new Lamborghini Huracan STO for all those sports car lovers out there.
Here's everything we know so far about Top Gear series 31.
When is the next series of Top Gear on?
The 31st series of Top Gear premiered on BBC One on Sunday 14th November.
Top Gear continues on Sunday at 8pm on BBC One.
Paddy McGuinness recently told Metro.co.uk in March that the Top Gear team had started working on future series of the show.
"It had its difficulties this one, and that’s why we could only do four," he said. "We’re already starting to look at the next series and, fingers crossed, hopefully the restrictions will start easing and we will have a bit more license. Who knows, we might even be able to do a trip abroad again.
"It’s good to be back with the boys again. It’s a pleasure, and we’ve kind of found our stride and we just keep trying to improve every series."
What channel will Top Gear be on?
Top Gear moved from BBC Two to BBC One for its 29th series in October 2020, after its lengthy success on the former channel since it premiered in 2002. It achieved figures of 5.57 million for episode four on BBC One, the highest since Chris Evans' debut in 2016.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, explained why the show moved across to the flagship channel: “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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Since their debut on BBC Two in June 2019, Paddy, Freddie and Chris have managed to bring in big numbers for the revamped show.
The first episode of season 27 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 among young audiences last year, occupying a spot in the top four shows on British television for 16-34-year olds during each week of its run.
Top Gear trailer
Top Gear shared a new trailer for series 31, showing the trio back in action.
You can watch the full clip below:
What happened in series 30 of Top Gear?
Top Gear returned to our screens for its 30th series in mid-March, which came to an end on Sunday 4th April in its usual time slot of 8pm, just before Line of Duty.
Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness provided even more car-based shenanigans in the world's biggest motoring show this year – although for the first time in the series's history, there was no studio audience.
The trio were also unable to travel the globe for the show due to the ongoing pandemic, and so filmed all of the series' various segments in the UK.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, McGuinness said that he really enjoyed filming in Britain. "Because, you know, you live here and you sort of take everything for granted."
"But when you get out and about like you're seeing the lake districts and going off to Scotland. The UK is absolutely beautiful, even in the winter it’s beautiful so yeah it was a treat to see it especially in the Middle of this bloody pandemic."
While Flintoff added: "In Scotland with some of the weather we had, we got the snow you probably thought it was abroad. You could have been in Canada or somewhere. It was unbelievable."
Harris even said that he doesn't think Top Gear will "move around to the same extent" as it did before after the pandemic, saying: "I think lots of people that have travelled an awful lot over the last 10 years for their work now realise how much they genuinely hated a lot of it and how much they hated airports and maybe we won't go back to doing the same thing."
As for series 30, the three presenters steered clear of any car crashes after the big accidents of last year's shows.
"We have two reformed characters," Harris told The Mirror, referring to Flintoff and McGuinness. "It's been joyous. There has been very little bent metal, there has been respect for the machinery. This is a new Top Gear."
Last year's series saw McGuinness crash a £250,000 Lamborghini Diablo whilst driving in Yorkshire, while Flintoff ran out of runway whilst riding a motorised trike at Elvington Airfield in 2019.
The show returned to BBC One on Wednesday 7th April at 7:30pm for a 30-minute tribute episode in which presenters past and present – including Jeremy Clarkson and Matt LeBlanc – reflected on the life and career of Sabine Schmitz, who passed away aged 51 in March.
Series 30 of Top Gear was shorter than usual, consisting of just four episodes due to production issues which arose during the coronavirus pandemic.
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 was broadcast slightly later than originally planned, and in a shorter five-part run.
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.
Eventually producers managed to make four episodes, including overseas segments such as the tour of Cyprus and testing supercars in Italy, alongside a number crazy stunts in the UK like the Wall of Death.
Top Gear showrunner Clare Pizey said: “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."
Filming eventually resumed on June 12th – starting with an electric car race around Staffordshire’s empty Alton Towers Resort.
The new socially-distanced studio was actually a field turned into an outdoor drive-in.
Paddy, Freddie and Chris welcomed audience members in their cars to pull up and watch the show.
Series 29 saw a number of changes to the Top Gear format due to COVID-19, with the long-running segment Star in a Reasonably Priced Car axed.
Who are the Top Gear presenters?
Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Freddie Flintoff will be returning to co-present the show for its 31st series.
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.”
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 453,000 subscribers at the time of writing, and he currently presents the online car review series Chris Harris Drives for topgear.com.
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.”
- For the latest news and expert tips on getting the best deals this year, take a look at our Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday 2021 guides.
Top Gear airs on Sundays at 8pm on BBC One. Season 30 and previous episodes of Top Gear are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now. If you're looking for more to watch, here are the best shows on BBC iPlayer, or check out our TV Guide.