Top Gear hosts on revitalising “inherited” format due to pandemic: “This is something new”

Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris said that the forced changes on the new series worked a treat

Top Gear

TV production has had to go through many changes since the coronavirus pandemic started, and one of the more innovative changes was introduced by Top Gear, with audiences watching the recordings via a drive-in format.


According to the show’s three presenters, the new format worked a treat – and has helped the trio put their own stamp on the long-running show.

“It actually felt right,” Paddy McGuinness told this week’s Radio Times, “It worked out really well, so much so that we might end up keeping it in the future.”

Chris Harris added, “The studio format was set up by the previous lot, who did it brilliantly – but we inherited it. This felt like something new.”

Despite this change, however, many aspects of Top Gear remain the same, and the new series – which starts on Sunday 4th October – will feature as many daring stunts and funny quips as ever.

As such, other than the lack of travel overseas and the dropping of Top Gear’s regular Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, the presenters said much of the shoot felt exactly the same despite the ongoing pandemic.

“In a funny way, it wasn’t that strange,” McGuinness said. “We’re all used to sitting in our cars with our microphones, so it wasn’t that different.”

And Freddie Flintoff revealed the lack of travel was actually a great chance to explore parts of the UK that the show might normally skip over.

“Our own country is beautiful,” he said. “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.  So I don’t think we get any less from this series, it was just different.”

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.