Frank Page

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Frank Page
Frank Page.jpgPage in 1985.
Full Name Frank Page
Nationality Flaguk.png Great Britain
Sex Male
Occupation Presenter of Top Gear (1977 TV series)
On-screen debut Top Gear: Series 2, Episode 5 (1979)
Final appearance Top Gear: Series 20, Episode 5 (1988)

Frank Page was a British motoring journalist who presented for Top Gear from 1980 until 1988. He also wrote weekly columns for various news outlets, in addition to serving as Chairman for the Guild of Motoring Writers[1] from 1983 to 1984.

Career[edit | edit source]

Born in 1930, Page would start his career at the age of 22 for the Garage & Motor Agent magazine, which ran from 1913 before merging with Motor Trader in 1975. He became motoring editor for The Observer in 1968, a role which Page would hold until 1982, at which point he was persuaded over to rival publication The Mail on Sunday until he retired from writing newspaper columns altogether in 1985. He would also write for The Daily Telegraph, and from 1974 he would periodically present episodes of the long-running The World About Us television series for BBC Two, a role which he would hold[2] until 1978.

Frank Page would make his first appearance on Top Gear in May 1979 as a guest interviewee whilst representing The Observer for the Guild of Motoring Writers. He was interviewed by then-host Angela Rippon at the Donington Park Circuit in Derby, as the segment concerned an event which had been specially arranged for Page and a group of fellow journalists at the venue in question. He would join Top Gear one series later and became one of the show's four stalwart hosts for much of the 1980s, alongside William Woollard, Chris Goffey and Sue Baker.

Page would be a regular for the following eight years, however, following administrative changes made behind the scenes in 1986 at the behest of Alan Yentob, Page would begin to make fewer appearances starting from 1987's Series 18. He would retire mid-way through the show's twentieth series in 1988, presenting his final piece over the Jaguar XK120, which had turned 40 years old at the time. Also that year, he would represent the 1940s for Top Gear's Car of the Decade special, behind the wheel of that decade's finalist, the Volkswagen Beetle.

Page's role on the show would be replaced by Jeremy Clarkson from the week following his retirement. He would drive[3] a Mazda RX-7 as his personal car until at least 2004, as it was a car Page had been heavily impressed by after driving one of the first finished production examples at a 1980s installment[4] of the Tokyo Motor Show, during the time he worked for The Mail on Sunday.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Guild of Motoring Writers - Guild chairmen 1944-2020.
  2. BBC Genome - Frank Page on The World About Us.
  3. The Guardian - Me and my car.
  4. Page claims this to be 1989, but this is highly unlikely, as 1989 was not a year a new or revised RX-7 released. Not to mention, Page had already retired from writing columns 4 years earlier.

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