This will be the third set of new hosts in three years. Third time's a charm?
Here we go again. Top Gear is back for a new series, and the presenter lineup is being shaken up once again. Replacing Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid will be comedian Paddy McGuinness and former cricketer Freddie Flintoff, while Chris Harris will stay on to complete the trio. This will be the third time the hosts have changed since Top Gear was relaunched in 2016, with the ill-fated 23rd season fronted by Chris Evans following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, who now all host The Grand Tour on Amazon.
At the end of the last series, a brief teaser clip was shown giving us a first look at the new hosts rolling over a modified hearse. Now, the first full-length trailer for Top Gear series 27 has dropped to give us an idea what to expect, and it looks like the new hosts had a lot of fun filming these automotive adventures.
In the trailer, we see an old Jaguar XJ hearse take on a Mercedes-AMG E63 wagon before rolling over in a spectacular crash. There also appears to be a road trip in a rare Matra Simca Bagheera that crosses a river, Flintoff clings onto the roof of a Mini, and McGuinness takes part in a demolition derby with returning host and German maniac Sabine Schmitz. Judging from the tone of the trailer, it looks like this series will be more lighthearted than the last, with a stronger emphasis on entertainment.
The chemistry between the presenters has always been a crucial part of Top Gear's success, so we'll have to wait and see if the new trio have a strong rapport. Viewing figures for the last couple of series have been declining, so you can see why the BBC is trying to make the show appeal to a wider audience.
Thankfully, there are still plenty of stunning supercars for gearheads to salivate over, as Chris Harris can be seen tearing up the test track in a Ferrari 488 Pista and McLaren 600LT. No start date has been announced for Top Gear series 27 yet, but McGuinness has confirmed on Twitter that it will air sometime in June in the UK. US viewers will probably have to wait a while longer, as BBC America aired the last series several months later than the UK broadcast.