Former Top Gear presenter Steve Berry has compared the motoring show's current hiatus to Doctor Who's "rest" in 1989.


Berry believes Top Gear could return in the next four or five years, despite the recent announcement it would not be returning for the "foreseeable future" following Freddie Flintoff's car accident in 2022.

The corporation recently said in a statement: "[It] remains committed to Freddie, Chris [Harris] and Paddy [McGuinness], who have been at the heart of the show's renaissance since 2019, and we're excited about new projects being developed with each of them. We will have more to say in the near future on this.

"We know resting the show will be disappointing news for fans, but it is the right thing to do."

Berry, who presented Top Gear from 1993 to 1999, told Talk Today: "There's one easy way to freak out a millennial. Actually, there are lots of ways to freak out a millennial, but one of the best ones is to tell them that Doctor Who went missing for 16 years. They have to rush to their phones immediately to confirm that actually happened.

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"The older ones among us know well that it happened. My mate bought a Dalek off the BBC, a real one, which is now worth a fortune because they thought they'd never need them again. It was done and finished. Sylvester McCoy killed it off, consigned to history.

"Top Gear will be back for the same reason that Doctor Who came back: money."

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While Sylvester McCoy was at the helm of the series as the Doctor, the sci-fi was put on an "indefinite hiatus" before being revived in 2005, something Berry believes will happen with Top Gear.

He continued: "They'll rest it for four or five years until people forget the unpleasantness, and then it will be brought back in a new format, as James May himself has said. A new format in a few years' time when everyone's forgotten the nastiness."

During an appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today Podcast, former co-presenter James May noted that Top Gear could do with "a rethink".

He explained: "My honest view is – I can say this now – it does need a bit of a rethink. It's time for a new format and a new approach to the subject, because the subject has not been this interesting, I suspect, since the car has been invented."

May noted that since his, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond's departure in 2015, the motoring series has "followed a very similar format and framework to the way we left it".

He added: "We're getting quite old and we already do that. There's another way. I'm not saying I know what it is, but there must be another way of doing a show about cars that will perhaps embrace more fulsomely many of the questions that are being asked about cars now that weren't for a long time."

You can watch Talk Today, Monday to Friday from 6am - 9:30am, on TalkTV. Previous seasons of Top Gear are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.


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