Former F1 Driver Joins Fifth Gear Presenting Team


The new series of Fifth Gear will air in September after a three-year hiatus.

After a three-year hiatus, Fifth Gear is finally returning to screens in September. Motoring TV fans may want to free up their schedules towards the end of the year, as the new series of Top Gear and The Grand Tour are also expected to air later this year. Tiff Needell announced Fifth Gear's comeback last month, but at the time we didn't know if the show's previous presenter line-up will also be returning. However, it's since been confirmed that Jason Plato and Vicki Butler-Henderson will be back on presenting duties, and former host Jonny Smith is also expected to be involved.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok has now announced he will also be joining the team for the new series. This presenter line-up is starting to get as crowded as Top Gear when Chris Evans fronted the show's comeback season. "Very excited to join the team – Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Tiff Needell – at "Fifth Gear" for the return of the show!" Chandhok wrote on Facebook. "Thoroughly enjoyed my first day of filming for the new series coming later this year!"

Chandhok currently serves as Williams F1 team's heritage collection driver and reports on Channel 4's F1 coverage in the UK. Photos posted on his Facebook page show Chandhok was filming for the new series at the Anglesea Circuit with a Porsche Cayman and BMW M2, as well as a Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Polo GTI, in what sounds like two of the show's famous "shootout" segments where cars in similar segments are pitted against each other.

Fifth Gear originally aired on Channel 5 in the UK back in 2002 after the original Top Gear show was cancelled by the BBC. Top Gear hosts Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, and Quentin Willson moved to Fifth Gear, only for Clarkson to revive Top Gear the same year. Top Gear won the ratings war, and Fifth Gear was subsequently cancelled in 2011. A new series of the show then aired on the Discovery Channel, History Channel and ITV 4. The new series will premiere this September on Quest.


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