Later this month, Top Gear’s Richard Hammond and James May were due to arrive in Australia, along with now ex-Top Gear host, Jeremy Clarkson.
The trio were set to host what had become something of an annual event called Top Gear Festival Sydney at Sydney Motorsport Park, with the usual Top Gear mix of speed, power and falling over.
Clarkson’s departure from the BBC and from the Top Gear series (by name) threw a spanner in the works, but now we learn Australian fans will not be robbed of the opportunity to see the show.
There are a few changes, but the BBC is ‘allowing’ the trio to present the show provided the names ‘BBC’ and ‘Top Gear’ have nothing to do with it.
Instead, ‘Clarkson, Hammond And May Live’ has become the show’s new name, and The Stig will be nowhere in sight.
The timing of Clarkson’s departure has also forced a rethink on the performance dates, which have moved from the relatively pleasant autumn months to the chillier (for some) winter.
Fans who purchased tickets to the original show will have first pick of tickets for the new shows, before remaining tickets go on sale to the public this month.
Shows scheduled in Norway have also been moved, and will take place in June ahead of the Australian shows.
While the live version of Top Gear will continue at least for this year, albeit with changes, the future of the Top Gear television program and Clarkson are currently the subject of wild conjecture.
The latest rumour has Clarkson heading to the ‘states to host Top Gear USA, perhaps displacing one of the show’s current hosts in Tanner Foust, Adam Ferrara or Rutledge Wood.
The remaining two hosts could be out of a job as well, if Hammond and May also make the switch and effectively take over the US gig.
This move would reportedly let the BBC have its cake and eat it too.
The US version is licenced by BBC Worldwide, screens on the History Channel, and would not encroach on the existing Top Gear UK with which Clarkson is no longer employed.
Then it’s simply a case of screening Top Gear USA around the world, as the BBC does now with the original Top Gear. Watch this space.
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