Top Gear is returning to our screens in October, with COVID-19 forcing a number of changes on the upcoming series. Now, its presenters have announced the biggest by far – long-running segment, ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ has been axed.
Speaking to this week’s edition of Radio Times magazine, Top Gear hosts Chris Harris, Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff spoke about the upcoming series and how it’s has had to adapt to the ongoing pandemic.
On the demise of ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’, Harris revealed: “It wasn’t my favourite element.
“It was deemed to be an important component of the show, but in the wake of recent events it was the obvious thing to go,” he continued. “That’s not to say that there won’t be any guests on the show in the future – but my feeling is if we have them, we should do more with them than just sit in the studio.”
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car has been a staple segment in the show since Top Gear’s first series in 2002, although over the years it has seen a number of name changes, from ‘Star in a Rally-Cross Car’ during Chris Evans’ time as presenter in series 23, to ‘Star in a Reasonably Fast Car’ from the 24th series onwards.
The segment has seen a variety of cars tested by celebs, including Suzuki Liana (2002-2005), Chevrolet Lacetti (2006-2009), Kia Cee’d (2010-2013), Vauxhall Astra (2013-2015) and Toyota GT86 (2017-present).
Hundreds of famous faces have taken part in the ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ challenge over the years, with the likes of sailor Ellen MacArthur, singer Jay Kay, Matt LeBlanc, Olly Murs and Chris Hoy topping the leader board.
The upcoming series of Top Gear will also be filmed in front of a drive-in audience to avoid crowding in-studio, while all outdoor trips were confined to the UK.
“Our own country is beautiful,” Freddie Flintoff told Radio Times. “We sometimes forget that, so it was nice to be rooted here. Bizarrely, in some ways lockdown created more opportunities as we got to go to venues we would never get access to otherwise.”
Top Gear returns for series 29 on Sunday 4th October on BBC One. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.