Top Gear Magazine/UK

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Top Gear is the name of a British automotive magazine produced continuously by Immediate Media Company (formerly BBC Worldwide and initially by Redwood Publishing for its first few issues) since September of 1993. It accompanied a long-running TV show of the same name until its March 2002 issue, before resuming under the relaunched programme from its November 2002 issue onwards.

History[edit | edit source]

Jeremy Clarkson had already made a name for himself as writer of the successful Performance Car Magazine, and the BBC were understandably looking for a way to replicate this success for their own benefit. As a result, Top Gear Magazine launched for the month of October 1993, and quickly became the most successful[1] magazine of its type. It would eventually lose ground towards the end of original lead editor Kevin Blick's tenure to rivals such as Max Power, but would bounce back under the lead of Michael Harvey. Conor McNicholas would briefly take over[2] to much media fanfare, but would soon quit[3] not long thereafter. Charlie Turner has been the magazine's lead editor since McNicholas' departure in 2010.

Issues[edit | edit source]

Some example issues of the magazine.

Main article: Top Gear Magazine/UK/Gallery
As of February 2022, there have been 357 issues of Top Gear Magazine. From 1993 to 2005, there were 12 issues a year, one for each month, before expanding to include a 13th "Awards" issue at the end of the year from 2006 onwards. Since the January 1996 issue, certain issues have come packaged with various freebies, such as yearly calendars, posters, and free CD-ROMs or DVDs. There are additional variances with the "Subscribers' Edition" issues, particularly following a redesign of the magazine's appearance under the tenure of Charlie Turner, to try and attract new subscribers.

Periodically, the magazine celebrates a milestone, as it has done in the past to commemorate its 100th, 200th and 300th issues, along with the magazine's 20th and 25th anniversaries. Should the magazine remain in circulation, it is due to celebrate its 30th anniversary in October 2023.

Sales figures[edit | edit source]

At one point in time, the magazine was Britain's best-selling[4] automotive magazine, peaking with more than 200,000 issues sold worldwide each month from the first half of 2008 through to the second half of 2009. Sales then remained over 190,000 copies per month for the next 18 months thereafter.

Decline in readership[edit | edit source]

Beginning from the second half of 2011, sales began a slow, yet gradual decline. In 2012 for instance, sales were down by a quarter of their all-time high. Following the dismissal of long term presenter Jeremy Clarkson in March 2015, sales figures of the magazine were likewise as impacted as television ratings, with just 90,000[5] copies sold in the United Kingdom for the first half of 2016, with an additional 10,000 international sales. Sales partially recovered following Evans' departure from Top Gear, stagnating at 100,000[6] for the entirety of 2018, but fell once more to just 80,000[7] the year after. By 2020, sales had fallen further[8] to just 60,000 issues worldwide. As of 2022, sales remain at an absolute nadir, with 59,000 sales[9] worldwide of which 47,000 sold in the UK and 38,000 are paid subscriptions.

References[edit | edit source]