Let the top see the gear - my thoughts on Top Gear's new hosts
It was upon learning the news that Paddy McGunniess and Freddie Flintoff have officially become Top Gear presenters that a look of confusion seemed to descend over my expression. While it may not appear to be something that could ever perplex someone, it unleashed a torrent of conflicting thoughts and emotions to flood into my mind all at the same time.
On the face of it, LeBlanc’s exit left a space to fill in the traditional triumvirate, which I presumed - and hoped - would see Sabine Schmitz ascend from her occasional roll to a permanent fixture within the trio. Strangely however, the BBC decided it would be a good idea to replace LeBlanc with two people rather than one, which if the promotional shots are to be believed, leaves Rory Reid out of the main group. Only time will tell whether he’s retreating to his old infrequent appearances, and his hosting duties on Extra Gear.
We’re told that comedian Paddy and cricketer Freddie are very enthusiastic about cars - but with respect, the Top Gear gig requires a bit more than that. Yes, Paddy has an excellent wit that I’m sure will see him well - but having seen him host Stars In Their Cars, I personally can’t say I’ve been impressed with his presenting style when applied to a motoring program. Perhaps he will appear more suited when redacted to the BBC’s formula - but I feel they won’t be able to do much to quell the overwrought nature of his delivery.
As for Freddie Flinoff: I feel he will give Chris Evans a run for his money in the “Most Annoying Top Gear Presenter” competition. There’s a smarminess painted across his face that I cannot un-see or force myself to like. In fact, he reminds me of somebody I know who I genuinely feel quite violent towards. I’m not saying I’d like to punch this particular person - but if my fist came into contact with their teeth, I’d get a warm feeling of satisfaction inside.
With two northern accents now delivering tortured metaphors across the television, I’m curious at how the American audience will fair with this coming linguistic challenge. Not only that, but with the vaguest traces of chemistry beginning to form between LeBlanc, Harris, and Reid, I’m now wondering if we’ll see a repeat of the disastrous first episode of the revamped series given Monkey has two new strangers to play with.
So no, I’m not feeling particularly enthusiastic about Top Gear’s new hosts. While I must concede we are all obliged to give it at least a chance, that’s what we said before being tortured by Chris Evans’s dreadful impersonation of Jeremy Clarkson. To utilise McGuinness’s catchphrase: let the Top see the Gear, let the bomb see the shell, and let the show see its end.
But now I want to ask you guys: what do you think of the new Top Gear presenters? Let me know in the comments.
For more content like this, including the latest performance car news and topical blogs posted DAILY, be sure to join my tribe Speed Machines.