It’s been expected, but now it’s official - Top Gear is over. Now, former host James May has said it needs "a bit of a rethink".
It doesn’t take much to argue the golden period for the show came between 2002 and 2015, with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond at the helm alongside May (with a very brief period of Jason Dawe before him).
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the presenter said: "My honest view is - I can say this now - it does need a bit of a rethink" and that the show "has followed a very similar format and framework to the way we left it".
He added: "It's time for a new format and a new approach to the subject because the subject has not been this interesting, I suspect, since the car has been invented."
46 years on from the very first series of Top Gear, the 33rd since its 2002 reboot aired last year will now go down in history as its last. At least for the “foreseeable future”.
Following on from ex-cricketer Freddie Flintoff’s crash in December 2022 while filming for the now-canned 34th series, the BBC has confirmed it has decided “to rest” the show.
The full statement said: “Given the exceptional circumstances, the BBC has decided to rest the UK show for the foreseeable future. The BBC remains committed to Freddie, Chris and Paddy who have been at the heart of the show's renaissance since 2019, and we're excited about new projects being developed with each of them.
“We will have more to say in the near future on this. We know resting the show will be disappointing news for fans, but it is the right thing to do.”
Most recently hosted by Flintoff alongside renowned journalist Chris Harris and comedian Paddy McGuinness, with a brief stint involving a Chris Evans-led cast, the first series of Top Gear aired all the way back in 1977.
However, the decision to cancel the show will not affect the long-running magazine or its YouTube efforts. The BBC statement added: “All other Top Gear activity remains unaffected by this hiatus including international formats, digital, magazines and licensing.”