Top Gear resumes filming at deserted theme park
James R | On 14, Jun 2020
Filming has resumed on BBC’s Top Gear with a day out at a deserted, closed theme park.
Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris have raced around Staffordshire’s empty Alton Towers Resort for a new segment in the motoring show, which is entering its third season under its new presenting trio.
The trio navigated a Honda e, Mini Electric and Vauxhall Corsa-e around a specially constructed Top Gear maze spanning the 550-acre theme park and found themselves hurtling by rollercoasters such as Oblivion and Nemesis. Paddy also jokingly maintained social distancing guidelines by using a two-metre stick with a red boxing glove on one end.
McGuinness says: “I’ve always dreamed of having a theme park to myself for the day although these aren’t necessarily the circumstances I’d have chosen. Mustn’t grumble though, it’s great to get the gang back together after lockdown and we’re raring to go – two-metres apart at all times of course!”
Clare Pizey, Top Gear’s Executive Producer, comments: “We are so pleased to be able to start filming again and a deserted theme park is a great place to start. If what we’ve shot so far is anything to go by, social distancing doesn’t get in the way of Paddy, Freddy and Chris having a brilliant time and causing mayhem along the way.”
The series resumes filming as the film and TV industry takes cautious steps towards restarting production on a range of projects, each with their own challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Iceland, Netflix’s Katla has been ring-fencing the cast and crew in their own bubbles, while soap operas in the UK have been filming with reduced numbers and new guidelines, and a growing number of new shows have sprouted out of lockdown with actors filming their parts remotely.
The new season of Top Gear will air on BBC One later this year.
Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff join Chris Harris behind Top Gear’s wheel
22nd October 2018
Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff will be behind the wheel of Top Gear when it returns in 2019.
Following Matt LeBlanc’s announcement that he will leave the show after the next season, Top Gear has now confirmed the line-up of hosts who will continue the show’s tradition of comedic car chaos.
Lancashire lads Paddy McGuinness, the primetime entertainment host and comedian, and former Ashes-winning England cricketer and TV presenter Freddie Flintoff, will join motoring journalist and racing-driver Chris Harris on the series. Harris joined Top Gear at the same time as LeBlanc, as part of a line-up of fresh talent that included Rory Reid. Reid will step down from the main presenting team but will remain part of the Top Gear family, along with Sabine Schmitz. He will continue to be the face of Top Gear’s companion show on BBC Threem Extra Gear – and will be at the heart of what will become a bigger digital presence for the show.
The new main trio will begin production on what will be the 27th season of the BBC Two show in early 2019 – with their inaugural series premiering later next year.
Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, says: “This is a thrilling manoeuvre from the Top Gear team and I’m relishing what this trio will deliver. Both Paddy and Freddie love their cars but more than that, they’ll bring a new energy and competitive spirit to Top Gear. Chris Harris might have the greater car skills, but when it comes to the infamous Top Gear challenges, he’s going to have to bring his A-game to have the beating of these two.”
McGuinness says: “Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honour and I’m thrilled the BBC have given me this opportunity. To be hosting a show I’ve watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting. Top Gear fans worldwide are a passionate bunch and I consider myself one of them. Now let’s start up this Great British machine and see what it can do!”
Flintoff adds: “It’s not often you have the chance to do both of your dream jobs, but I’m now lucky enough to say I will have. I’ve always been passionate about cars and I’m so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.”
Harris comments: “I think you can tell just how much fun we’re going to have making Top Gear with Paddy and Freddie. They’re both brilliant, natural entertainers – and their mischief mixed with the most exciting cars on the planet is sure to take the show to the next level. My dream job just got even better.”
LeBlanc’s last lap of Top Gear will debut early in 2019 on BBC Two.