Motor Week (UK)

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Motor Week (UK)

MWUK Logo 1997.jpg Motor Week's 1st logo, used through to May 1998.

MWUK Logo 1998.jpg Motor Week's 2nd logo, used from 06/98 until 01/00.

MWUK Logo 2000.jpg Motor Week's 3rd logo, used from 02/00 until 07/01.

MWUK Logo 2000B.jpg Rare variant used early in Series 8.

MWUK Logo 2001.jpg Motor Week's 4th and final logo, used until March 2002.

Episodes 235
First aired 1997
Country of origin Flaguk.png Great Britain
Status No longer airing
Concluded 2002

Motor Week (later stylised as Motorweek during its final series but of no relation to the long-running American series of the same name) was the name of an automotive journalism programme created by the British Granada network, where it aired as part of their digital-only Men & Motors TV station. The programme aired from the 2nd October 1997 through to the 28th March, 2002 as a digitally-based competitor against the BBC's Top Gear. Nine series would air in total, in an unusual year-round format which saw the show on the air for all 235 weeks of the programme's duration, occasionally re-airing previously filmed content in order to make sure there was an episode every single week.

Upon its launch in 1997, Motor Week was headed by Mike Rutherford and Ginny Buckley, the latter of which would serve in her role for the first six series of the programme and can be considered a major achievement for a female automotive journalist. Ian Royle would also be a significant presence on the programme, starring in 129 episodes and becoming joint "lead" host during its third and fourth series, following the departure of Rutherford in 1998, his final film for the programme airing as the first episode of Series 3. Motor Week is perhaps best known for launching the career of Richard Hammond, who debuted on the programme in June 1998, as well as serving as a refuge for the disgraced Brendan Coogan following his July 1999 DUI[1] conviction. From February 1998 until January 2002, the programme would also see out the end of Chris Goffey's career as an automotive journalist, which begun all the way back in 1972. Following the completion of its ninth series in 2002, Motor Week was effectively cancelled due to Hammond signing on to present the relaunched Top Gear that October.

232 of the 235 episodes of Motor Week can be watched[2] on Men & Motors' post-discontinuation YouTube channel. A 233rd, the 2001 Motor Show special in Germany, can be seen on Dailymotion, whereas two others, Series 1, Episode 19 and Series 8, Episode 24, remain missing for unknown reasons.

Series overview[edit | edit source]

All series of Motor Week contained 25 episodes, apart from the final series which contained 35.

Series Episodes Originally aired
Series premiere Series finale
1 25 2nd October 1997 19th March 1998
2 25 26th March 1998 10th September 1998
3 25 14th September 1998 4th March 1999
4 25 11th March 1999 25th August 1999
5 25 26th August 1999 17th February 2000
6 25 24th February 2000 10th August 2000
7 25 17th August 2000 1st February 2001
8 25 8th February 2001 26th July 2001
9 35 2nd August 2001 28th March 2002

Presenters[edit | edit source]

Below is a list of presenters for Motor Week. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and only includes hosts who were credited for at least one on-screen appearance.
Italicised names indicate presenters who were credited as lead host for at least one episode, whilst Bold names signify presenters who held this status for at least 5 episodes.

Name Appearances Series
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Richard Hammond 158 (100 as lead) Minor Major Lead host
Ginny Buckley 134 (60 as lead) Lead host Major Minor
Ian Royle 129 (18 as lead) Major Lead host Major
Chris Goffey 78 (12 as lead) Lead host Major
Ken Gibson 74 (3 as lead) Major
Peter Baker 43 (42 uncredited)[3] Minor Major Minor Minor
Glenda McKay 42 (2 as lead) Minor Major
Mike Rutherford 39 (21 as lead) Lead host Major Minor
Howard Stableford 38 (4 as lead) Minor Major Minor Major Minor[4]
Phil Sayer 21 (3 as lead) Minor Major
Rob Hallam 19 (3 as lead) Minor Major
Brendan Coogan 16 Minor Minor Major
Elisa Portelli 11 Minor Major Minor
Steve Fowler 6 (2 as lead) Minor Minor
Francesca Robinson 4 Minor
Beverley French 3 (1 as lead) Minor
Jeremy Taylor 3 Minor
Louise Brady 3 Minor
Rachel Ford 1 Minor
Mark Lloyd 1 Minor
Tony Zenka 1 Minor
Helen Brumby 1 Minor
Paul Johnston 1 Minor

Note that main host status varied on an episode-by-episode basis; Rutherford and Buckley largely alternated this role until Chris Goffey's arrival in 1998, whereupon Rutherford was demoted to secondary host. From Series 7, the role was usually Hammond's.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. BBC News - Top Gear host quits after conviction.
  2. Men & Motors YouTube Channel.
  3. As narrator, Baker only received one credit as presenter even though he made several physical appearances.
  4. Stableford moved to Colorado to be with his wife during this time, and returned only to present American motor shows.