With The Grand Tour nearing its end, I think the general verdict has been resounding. Clarkson, Hammond and May have emerged victorious, largely by just doing what they’ve always done, in a style they’ve cultivated over decades of producing the world’s best car show. I refer to the pre-Chris Evans iteration of TopGear of course, not the latest one that flopped in the most spectacular fashion.
Radio Two host Chris Evans flagships the new TopGear, supported by television’s favourite fictional New Yorker, Joey… oops, Matt Le Blanc (from Friends). A strange casting but one that ultimately worked as he’ sill as likeable as ever, but seemingly out of his element here. We blame British screenwriters, but that’s just us. It doesn’t stop there of course, with Chris Harris and Rory Reid (both from YouTube) playing backup, with a star-studded racer lineup in the form of Eddie Jordan and Sabine Schmitz. That’s a whole gearbox full of broken cogs I’m afraid, when you compare them to Clarkson, Hammond and May – I’m sorry but it just is.
It’s said that Amazon has budgeted roughly R65 million per episode of The Grand Tour. Eat that TopGear, with your child’s budget of only R16 million per show.
While Top Gear carries on at their usual Dunsfold Airfield base of operations, The Grand Tour gets what I like to call, the most car-oriented tent… in the world. It’s massive and performs the same task as the old Top Gear studio, essentially housing each week’s audience and I’d like to say celebrity guests but unless you’ve been living under the rock, in which case it will surprise you to learn that they don’t quite make it onto the show.
The numbers will reveal to history that this has been the worst performing season of TopGear for over a decade while Amazon are repeatedly chuffed with the performance of their new car show. More interestingly, it has become one of the top-pirated shows of all time. In the world. Ever. And that goes in line with how I feel about the two shows. While I will continue to watch TopGear for as long as they’ll produce it, The Grand Tour trumps it in almost every way. And having two high quality motoring shows can only be a blessing for us all.