|Country of origin||Great Britain|
For a particular version of Top Gear, please see Top Gear (disambiguation).
Top Gear is the name of an automotive-themed intellectual property created by Derek Smith in 1977. It has been adapted to a television format multiple times in its native United Kingdom, in addition to subsequent international versions that were made once the programme had proven itself a success in the early 2000s. A successful magazine of the same name was established in 1993, subsequently diversifying into foreign markets, and a live show was created in 1996 and ran twice, before being revived in 2003, with Top Gear (and later Fifth Gear) host Tiff Needell alongside Jeremy Clarkson transforming the basic format into a smaller-scale version that could be adapted for the stage.
Series overview[edit | edit source]
As of February 2022, 870 episodes of Top Gear have aired across 76 series. Traditionally, the first 550 of these are considered distinct from the latter 320, but further distinctions do exist.
Presenters[edit | edit source]
Since 1977, the British version of Top Gear has had 12 main hosts, who have served 13 tenures in total:
- Angela Rippon: 22nd April, 1977 - 3rd July, 1979
- Noel Edmonds: 4th July, 1979 - 21st October, 1980
- Judith Jackson: 22nd October, 1980 - 9th June, 1981
- William Woollard: 10th June, 1981 - 2nd May, 1991
- Jeremy Clarkson (first): 3rd May, 1991 - 22nd January, 1999
- Tiff Needell: 21st December, 1998 - 17th December, 2001
- Jason Barlow: 18th December, 2001 - 21st March, 2002
- Jeremy Clarkson (second): 22nd March, 2002 - 10th March, 2015
- Richard Hammond: 11th March, 2015 - 15th June, 2015 (shared duty with James May)
- James May: 11th March, 2015 - 15th June, 2015; acting host until 7th February, 2016
- Chris Evans: 16th June, 2015 - 4th July, 2016
- Matt LeBlanc: 5th July, 2016 - 17th March, 2019
- Chris Harris: 18th March, 2019 - present
The longest serving main host by a considerable margin is Jeremy Clarkson, serving a combined tenure of 20 years and 7 months, during which he would present over 400 episodes of Top Gear. The shortest serving main host, by a factor of mere days, is Jason Barlow, who served as interim main host from Tiff Needell's departure in December 2001 through to Clarkson's re-appointment as lead host in March 2002, presenting just one episode in February 2002 before being vetoed as a host.
Timeline of presenters[edit | edit source]
Page roadmap[edit | edit source]
To be a complete summary of the Top Gear intellectual property, the following is to be added to this page, which is otherwise very much a work-in-progress at this time:
- International television adaptations
- Expansion into other franchises (e.g. Motorsport, Waterworld etc.)
- Merchandising and non-audiovisual media (i.e. games, trading cards etc.)
Notes[edit | edit source]
- ↑ Unofficially until 22nd January, 1999.