The popular motoring TV presenter has been told Fifth Gear will be a “better show” without him.
It turns out Top Gear isn't the only show that's had a major presenter lineup change. After Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid were replaced with Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness in the latest series, Tiff Needell has announced he's been axed from Fifth Gear and won't be returning for the new series when it airs this fall.
Understandably, Tiff is feeling very bitter about the situation. It wasn't even clear why he was removed from the Fifth Gear team. "Unfortunately someone @DiscoveryUK has decided @FifthGearTV will be a better show without me," he wrote on Twitter. "Sad time for me as I was pivotal in the creation of the programme but if you do like to see me having fun in cars the good news is I'll be doing a lot more on."
Fifth Gear launched back in 2002 and was fronted by former Top Gear hosts Tiff Needell, Quentin Willson, and Vicki Butler-Henderson after the show was canceled in 2001. Jeremy Clarkson also rebooted Top Gear the same year, and we all know which show as more successful. While it doesn't have a big budget like Top Gear or The Grand Tour, it offers a great balance of informative car reviews and entertaining challenges.
Fifth Gear also has some great driving talent, as Tiff Needell and Jason Plato are experienced racing drivers. Only Chris Harris can match Tiff Needell's ability to slide a car and make it look easy on TV.
It's a strange decision, but we'll probably never know why Needell was fired from Fifth Gear. Responding to a fan question in a video posted by Lovecars, Needell joked he's been replaced "with a quite famous, trendy looking younger man" who is also a racing driver. "Some younger commissioning editor at Discovery has decided he doesn't like an older person," he said. "I'm just guessing, no one's giving me any reason at all. No communication. I've just been told they think it'll be a better show without me." Let's hope Top Gear has some guest presenter slots available because we'd love to see Tiff team up with Chris Harris and burn some rubber.
The new season of Fifth Gear will air on Quest TV on October 3 and will be hosted by Jason Plato, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Karun Chandhok, Jimmy de Ville and Jonny Smith. A trailer has also been released for the series showing cars such as Audi TT, BMW Z4, Tesla Model 3, Ford GT, Porsche 911 and the Lexus UX being put through their paces.