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Old 03-29-2010, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default Fifth Gear is back

Six months after it was dropped by Five, Fifth Gear has earned a reprieve from the breaker’s yard. Two new series of everybody’s second-favourite car show have been confirmed for 2010, with a revised line-up of presenters and a new format aimed at attracting a more hardcore group of car fans.

The first show will air at the end of April, ahead of the new series of Top Gear, which is slated to start on BBC2 in the late summer.

The reborn Fifth Gear is billed as a back-to-basics car show that will ditch the live studio format in favour of more time spent on the track and road-testing cars. The change is seen as a response to Top Gear, which was criticised during the last series for appearing to be more interested in playing for laughs than testing cars.

The presenting team has been whittled down too: Tom Ford and Tim Shaw have left, leaving Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jonny Smith, Tiff Needell and Jason Plato.

The revival of Fifth Gear marks the end of a period of uncertainty. The show was dropped in 2009 because of lacklustre ratings — it struggled to attract more than 1m viewers, compared with Top Gear’s 5m average — and a fall in car advertising driven by the recession. Executives at Five said it was time to try something new.

Three months ago speculation mounted that the programme was set for a return to our televisions, but it wasn’t until last week that official details emerged. Under the terms of a new deal, the Discovery channel will buy the series and air it across its European networks, in Germany, France, eastern Europe and elsewhere, while Five retains the right to broadcast each show in Britain first.

Smith says the phrase “back by popular demand” has never been so true. “Ever since the show was reportedly dropped, I [and the other presenters] have been genuinely shocked by the uproar from viewers all over the world,” he says. “I’ve had Twitter and blog messages from Israel, Australia, Scandinavia, Canada, America and, of course, the UK, demanding the show goes on.

“It’ll be great to be back behind the wheel in Fifth Gear, especially when it will be getting televised across so many countries. Makes me want to plan a few foreign road trips to celebrate.”
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:27 PM   #2
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It's too bad Tom Ford is gone, and not the other fellow.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nthfinity View Post
It's too bad Tom Ford is gone, and not the other fellow.
Yeah. Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:16 AM   #4
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Chat believe they choose the weird freakishly geeky guy that can't drive over Tom.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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Cool to see them back. Too bad Tom Ford left, I liked him ...
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