In North America, Top Gear is not very well known. Only people who bother to pay extra for a BBC channel, and care to listen to a bunch of British middle-aged men talk about cars would have seen it. When described like that, the show doesn’t seem like it could be a hit. But viewers who tune in every week know that Top Gear is not just a car review show. It’s a celebration of the automotive lifestyle. In fact it’s not even the cars I enjoy about the show (even though some are really, really cool); it’s watching a couple of old guys fooling around and making jokes.
The original series of Top Gear started in 1977. It was a typical review show, where they looked at different models of cars and told you whether you should buy it or not. But when viewing figures declined, the show was axed. This happened in 1999, but only three years later, Jeremy Clarkson, one of the former presenters, started the new format in which there were car challenges, races, and they would often just do random things to the car to see if it held up. Once or twice a year, usually around Christmas, they do a really epic and often treacherous race through another country in a couple of supercars.
The reason I bring this up now, is that this morning I found that some of the older series of Top Gear are being uploaded by the official Top Gear Youtube Channel. Yes! The full episodes! I’m not exactly sure when they started doing this, but most of the videos have only a couple views and were only uploaded today or yesterday.