The race for ratings will soon get off the grid, but which motoring show will you be watching in 2016? The BBC’s revamped Top Gear with new host, self-confessed car-nut Chris Evans or the (as yet) untitled Amazon Prime show with maverick Jezza & co?
While both are currently off our screens, they are very much still on the minds of fans. The latest revelation by the Top Gear Team that actor Matt Le Blanc has joined as a co-presenter sparked a worldwide frenzy with the former Friends star commenting: "I knew Top Gear was a big show, but, wow, I was on the front page of the New York Times."
Pictures from filming have also been widely circulated on the pages of the British press.
Recently Top Gear host Chris was pictured at the Mazda Raceway track in Monterey, California, taking a spin with his co-driver, racing professional Sabine Schmitz, in an Audi R8. Rather unfortunately for the 49 year old presenter, he did appear to be a little under the weather!
Meanwhile Jeremy Clarkson has also enjoyed some sunshine with his team, and posted this picture to twitter late last year with the tongue in cheek comment “With a skeleton crew. Filming for Amazon Prime's new motoring programme has begun.”
Both productions will no doubt continue to run full throttle until launch with Top Gear scheduled to broadcast on May 8th – 3 days after filming wraps. Speaking to the Press Association, Chris has hinted at a completely new format: “We are going to do things differently, because we have to, we want to.”
While there is no date (and indeed no name) officially released for the Amazon Prime show, Jezza has previously remarked on “the dizzying world of narrowcasting, in which you can upload a programme when it’s ready, not necessarily at 7pm on a Tuesday". Does that suggest it could be sooner than we think?
Lookers, one of the UK’s most popular car retailers, has put the two turbo-charged shows head to head. In a poll of 200 people they asked “Which TV Motoring Show are you most likely to watch in 2016?” Respondents then chose between four options - Top Gear, Amazon Prime, Both or Neither. Can you guess who was first pass the finish line? Read on for the big reveal.
Driving fans may switch lanes between now and final broadcast, however according to the Lookers poll results*, it’s Jezza and the boys who are in pole position with a total of 44% of the votes. Top Gear is trailing behind at only 14% and while 20% of respondents showed loyalty to both, 22% have said they will not be tuning in to either show.
Which show will be wildly waving the chequered flag come broadcast time? Well that’s up to you. Will you drive a steady course – or change lanes along the way?
*The 200 Respondents to the poll included Lookers customers and staff and votes
BBC's Top Gear - 27 votes = 14%
Neither – 44 votes = 22%
Amazon Prime - 86 votes = 44%
Both - 27 votes = 20%