July 13 on TV

40 years ago today, Top Gear shifted to BBC 1 Midlands to BBC 2 nationwide

Top Gear (1977-2001), title card (1977-1983)

The original Top Gear started as a monthly television series produced by BBC Midlands and presented by Angela Rippon and Tom Coyne. The 30 minute programmes had a magazine format, and were transmitted at first to viewers in the Midlands region only.  The programme covered motoring related issues, such as new car road tests, fuel economy, safety, the police, speeding, insurance, second hand cars and holiday touring.

Top Gear (1978-2001), title (1986-1987)

The BBC network took Top Gear and it became a weekly 30 minute BBC Two programme on July 13, 1978. Angela Rippon continued as presenter with new co-presenter, racing commentator, Barrie Gill. Noel Edmonds joined the team in the second networked series, eventually taking over from Rippon in 1980. Edmonds was replaced by Tomorrow’s World‘s William Woollard in 1981 who would front the programme for 10 years.

Top Gear (1978-2001), title (1994-2001)

Jeremy Clarkson joined the team in 1988, until 1998.  Ex-car salesman Quentin Willson was added in 1991, and James May appeared in the final two seasons, when the original format ended in 2001.  Clarkson and May would return in a revamped version in 2002, joined by Richard Hammond and the Stig.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.