We report this news with some reservations. SBS has announced it will produce a “quintessentially Australian” version of Top Gear destined for Aussie TVs starting next year.
This is the first time the BBC has given rights to produce Top Gear for another country, and while we are delighted that Australia is the first to get the green light, we have to ask, just how is it meant to work?
Top Gear has been on and off TV since the 80s but it has found a worldwide cult following in the last five or so years. Successfully replicating that formula will be hard without the shows biggest assets, its presenters.
SBS director of content Matt Campbell acknowledges our fears and has stated SBS will add Aussie flavour to the successful formula.
“In making it we won’t simply replicate the UK series with an Australian version of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond or James May, SBS plans to make a program that is uniquely and quintessentially Australian.” he said.
In another bit of good news SBS has confirmed it has secured the rights to the UK show for the life of the series. We’d imagine the Australian version will air directly after TopGear UK on SBS.
When informed, Top Gear’s main man Jeremy Clarkson said: “I’m delighted that Top Gear is going to Australia. Maybe the first guest could by Jonny Wilkinson.”.
Expect the show to air mid to late next year.