Blog: Ex-Top Gear team moves to Amazon Prime
Dave Leggett | 30 July 2015
Well, the news today that the Top Gear presenter trio plus producer Andy Wilman will make a new show broadcast on the Amazon Prime video streaming service comes as no great surprise. My money was on Netflix, but Amazon is aggressively moving into the video streaming space and must have seen this as a great opportunity.
For people who were mostly very happy watching Top Gear on the BBC (or the endless re-runs on channel 'Dave'), myself included, it's a slightly sad denouement. I wish them luck and it will be interesting to see how the new programme works out. The audience will inevitably be much smaller on Amazon Prime though and I can't help feeling that something of the charm that TG always had has been lost after all that has gone on. It's a pity things panned out the way they did.
And the new Top Gear that carries on on the BBC? Hmm. No-one is bigger than the brand, eh? New main presenter Chris Evans is very different in tone from Jeremy Clarkson. The old trio came out of the journalistic world and lent a certain gravitas as well as their unusual chemistry and brand of humour, honed over many years of working together. They understood the industry. So, it's now disc-jockey Chris Evans supported by F1 driver Jensen Button and (say) model Jodie Kidd, who rides horses and also - helpfully - likes fast cars. Good luck with making that work. It will, of course, take some time to gel and the new TG makers will have to endure the endless comparisons with the 'old TG'. And now it is confirmed that the 'old TG' effectively carries on under a new flag of convenience, another benchmark for comparison that may be seized upon by new TG detractors if they scent blood (and the BBC does have its enemies...). Nobody said broadcasting is easy.
A top manager at the BBC may well, at some point in the future, ask: 'Strategically speaking, this outcome has not been ideal; how did we let this happen?'
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