The famous last corner in the Top Gear (revamped version) track is called "Gambon corner". It is named after actor Michael Gambon who drove a Suzuki Liana (as part of the "Reasonably priced car" challenge) and nearly flipped over at the last corner. Since then, Jerermy Clarkson dubbed the last corner as "Gambon corner".
For the road test of the Ferrari Enzo, they asked Ferrari if they could borrow one, but Ferrari refused. Jeremy Clarkson then called Jay Kay and asked if he could borrow his, but he refused as well. However, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason came to the rescue and agreed to lend Clarkson his Enzo if he advertised his new book on Top Gear. Clarkson accepted and slipped (not so) subtle references to the book during the car test.
Throughout series 22 symbols of Chile appear in the show for example on one episode a picture of Alexis Sanchez (Chilean footballer) is visible on a table. On another the Stig is on a Chilean flag. This is because it was Chilean people who helped them escape Argentina in the controversial 'Patagonia special'.
The show is known for criticizing various vehicle brands without getting into any issues with car companies. This is due to the fact that it is funded by the BBC instead of being sponsored by advertisers.
A rarity on TV shows, the entire studio audience stands for the 60-minute duration of the show, as no seating is provided.
All three presenters of Top Gear have won Heat Magazine's Weird Crush Of The Year. Richard Hammond (2006), James May (2007), Jeremy Clarkson (2008).
In the newly revamped first season of Top Gear in 2002, Jason Dawe was the original third presenter. However in the second season, he was replaced by James May who has a different personality than the other two presenters.
The test driver, The Stig, never speaks a word and his face has never been seen (it being always hidden behind a tinted visor), despite guests frequently mentioning having talked with him. In some later-season episodes, he can be heard speaking in Morse code, which, after being decoded, is mostly random and funny nonsense.
The show has a number of Suzuki Lianas for use in the celebrity race segment, entitled "Star in a reasonably priced car". The Liana was chosen because it is quite a decent spec of equipment for a car under 10,000 pounds. Originally they were going to use a Hyundai, but Hyundai refused to help them out - prompting the first episode of the show to be advertised as "containing no Hyundais". The Lianas have appeared in various disguises; sporting flames for Rock Singer Justin Hawkins of The Darkness, and an Indian tissue box for 'Sanjeev Baskhar'. There are several Lianas in case one breaks during the show. To date, David Soul is the only celebrity to have broken all of the available Lianas during filming.
The show is famous for its humorous features. These have included TV Chef Jamie Oliver making a tossed salad in the back of his Porsche-engined camper van whilst it was being raced around the test track by The Stig. Car Darts when James May and Richard Hammond were launching cars by compressed air into a quarry and onto a target (which was made juicier by the addition of a caravan in the bullseye). Russian Roulette when Hammond and May worked for Taxibike and gave comments on the cars they drove their clients home in. The Toyota Hilux where they attempted to see what it would take to break one of these trucks (it was parked in the sea for a full tidal cycle, set on fire and finally put on top of a tower block that was subsequently demolished) - despite their best efforts the thing still started and moved. The use of a Boeing 747 at full thrust against a Citroen 2CV and various abuses against caravans.
Because of its quirky tone, the BBC called Top gear an 'entertainment program', not a sports-themed show.
Jeremy Clarkson was suspended on 25th March, 2015 following long internal investigation and media speculation due to his fight with the producer and some abusive remarks. The BBC board said they would not renew his contract as 'verbal and physical abuse is not tolerable'.
Since the beginning of series 6, Jeremy Clarkson has always introduced The Stig using "Some Say ...".
The show has close links with the UK military who have, among other things; tried to target a Range Rover Sport with a Challenger 2 tank; proved that a Hughes Apache attack helicopter cannot get a missile lock on a Lotus Exige; driving a Mercedes SLK and a Porsche Boxster through an Irish Guard sniper-filled abandoned town to see how many times they could hit the driver; set the fastest ever lap of the test track using a Royal Navy BAe Sea Harrier FA.2 (0.31 sec); and launched Stig One to his 'death' from the deck of HMS Ark Royal during a drag race between a stripped & nitrous-modified Jaguar XJS and a Sea Harrier.
In August 2010, publisher HarperCollins published an unauthorized biography 'The Man in the White Suit', revealing the then current Stig ("White Stig") to be racing driver Ben Collins. The BBC was unsuccessful in preventing publication of this book. The BBC refuses to deny or acknowledge whether Ben Collins is, or ever was, "The Stig".
During a "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment with Lionel Richie, a wheel broke off as his Suzuki Liana was approaching one of the fastest parts of the course. Richie managed to keep the car under control and got another go at his fastest lap (something which is not normally allowed). The sequence was aired in the UK as part of the show (complete with an embarrassed Jeremy Clarkson), but appears not to have been in the US where an edited version of the show is screened.
For the first two seasons, The Stig was Perry McCarthy, a former Formula One driver as well as a test driver for three F1 teams. A new Stig took over from McCarthy after the original Stig's "demise" at the beginning of Season 3. On the 18 March 2006 the former Stig, Perry McCarthy, revealed that currently there is no one single test driver, but multiple test drivers who masquerade as the Stig; he said this when he appeared at a Palmer Sport activity day in Bedfordshire, UK. Rumours have it that one of the new Stigs is Damon Hill and occasionally Colin McRae. And in January 2006, the Daily Express claimed that the identity of The Stig is former Formula 1 driver Julian Bailey.
Since the beginning of Season 7, the presenters began to take cars of their choice on a journey to various countries in the world. Season 7: the presenters take 3 super cars (Jeremy: Ford GT, Richard: Pagani Zonda, James: Ferrari F430 Spider) to the longest cable-stayed bridge in France. Season 10: Finding the best driving road in Europe (Jeremy: Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, Richard: Porsche 911 GT3 RS, James: Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24). Season 12: Journey across America from San Francisco to the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah (Jeremy: Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Richard: Dodge Challenger, James: Cadillac CTS-V). Season 14: Finding the best driving road in Romania (Jeremy: Aston Martin DBS Volante, Richard: Ferrari California, James: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder)
Some seasons of Top Gear have an epic race in which Jeremy will drive a car against James and Richard taking public transport or any other transport that is not a car. Here are some of the epic races they had. Season 4: Race to Monte Carlo: Aston Martin DB9 VS. train, Season 5: Race to Verbier, Switzerland: Ferrari 612 Scaglietti VS. plane. Season 6: Race to Oslo, Norway: Mercedes-Benz SLR McClaren VS. boat. Season 7: Race from Italy to England: Buggati Veyron VS. James' plane. Season 11: Race across Japan: Nissan GT-R VS. Japan's most reliable public transport.
The race Clarkson had with Hammond in series 21 between an Alfa Romeo and a Quadski had be run twice over 2 days because some of the footage of the first race was lost.
Nicholas Hoult was the last ever guest to drive the reasonably priced car on the Top Gear.
The first and only celebrity guest ever to drive in SNOW was Damian Lewis who posted a laptime of 2.09.1
During Season 7, the Bugatti Veyron first appeared on Top Gear. Since then, it has appeared in three other seasons (Seasons 9, 10, and 12) with all three presenters and the Stig having driven it.
Following an incident on 4 March 2015 in which Jeremy Clarkson physically and verbally attacked producer Oisin Tymon, Clarkson was dismissed by the BBC. His co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May chose not to renew their Top Gear contracts. Chris Evans was announced as the new host for the season beginning in the autumn of 2015.
The revamped 2002 series onwards is filmed at the former BAe Systems site at Dunsfold aerodrome
During 2002 the show re-launched with a new hour-long show format and the original host, Jeremy Clarkson, was subsequently joined by two other co-presenters. Many new segments appeared in this show including "Star in a reasonably priced car", "The cool wall" and the first appearance of "Ben Collins". The Stig drove all the super cars around the test track circuit, with Jeremy logging times on a leader board each series.
Among the 3 presenters, only James May did not do all his road tests on the Top Gear Test Track. It is not until Season 12 when he road tests the Pagani Zonda F Roadster on the test track. Since then, he did another road test on the test track in Season 14. he has also tested a track-day Astra and a few luxury saloons around the track
Frequently uses music by John Barry during their filmed reports. Music by Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Thomas Newman and Alan Silvestri is also featured in several episodes.
From the beginning of the newly revamped series of Top Gear, the car that has been used in the "Star in a reasonably priced car" is a Suzuki Liana. This car has been used for seven seasons until season eight, when it was replaced by the (equally awful) Chevrolet Lacetti. The Liana returned in a new segment of the show in which F1 drivers took it for a spin, and also when the stig/Michael Schumacher took it around, jokingly smashing a large camera and tripod, and getting lost at the follow through.
Winners of Reasonably Priced car challenge: 2002: Jay Kay 2003: Jodie Kidd (who beat Jay Kay's time) 2004: Simon Cowell (who beat Jodie Kidd's time) 2005: Jimmy Carr (who beat Jimmy Carr's time) 2005: Ellen MacArther
Jeremy Clarkson first started introducing the Stig using "some say" in the first episode of series 6.
The original first episode of season 9 was broadcastet only once, due to respect to a returning Richard Hammond after his horrible crash, which was shown in this episode. Jeremy Clarkson stated in this episode, to never ever mention the crash or showing footage of it again. Other parts of this episode can be found online.
From the beginning of season 15, the Reasonably Priced Car, the Chevrolet Lacetti was replaced with the Kia Cee'd. Instead of being crushed, The Lacetti was sent off with a 'viking' burial in which Richard parked it under two old water towers which were about to be demolished, the whole car was flattened, except for the front bumper which emerged pretty much unscathed
Often uses music from the James Bond films. Music from various Hollywood films and franchises are also often featured including very noticeable music from ''Batman Begins' 'The Dark Knight', 'The Avengers', 'The Shawshanks Redemption' and 'Inception'.