Tag Archives: Top Gear

Sabine Schmitz Made Chris Evans Sick During Top Gear Filming

The more we hear about the BBC’s post-Clarkson Top Gear plans, the more it sounds like a train wreck. There have been reports of meddling management, a production team that knows nothing about cars and the departure of key staff, plus rumours that host Chris Evans struggles to talk while driving. And if you’ve ever watched an episode of the motoring show, you’ll know talking while driving is kinda key.

It turns out he’s not that great at being a passenger either, as the veteran presenter has been photographed throwing up at the side of Laguna Seca circuit, having been made physically sick after riding shotgun in an Audi R8 V10 Plus driven by co-star Sabine Schmitz.

Despite all the issues involved with filming and behind the scenes, the BBC is still insisting that production of the show is on schedule.

It’s due to kick off in May, and I really do hope the show’s various problems are resolved. Sure, we’ll have Clarkson and co’s new Amazon Prime series to watch, but I reckon we should go by the philosophy of why not both. The presence of Chris Harris and the chance for a completely revamped show has us intrigued – we just have to hope that Evans’ stomach can cope.

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Top Gear : Matt LeBlanc will be everything Jeremy Clarkson wasn’t

One of my favourite cast member of Friends was, like the Biblical definition of truth, a fountain whose waters were in perpetual motion; it was only Matt LeBlanc sometimes, but when it was, it really was. The broad stupidity of his character sometimes threw one off the scent, and it was only over time that the sophistication of his comic sense became apparent. He had a gold-plated, King of the Swingers talent, which makes it sort of baffling that anyone British can afford him.

Obviously, it helped that his career didn’t really take off after his bubble, Joey (so far as I know, I was one of only 45 viewers. It was like having a terminally lazy child; I loved it, but I could see it wasn’t working).
Matt LeBlanc takes the reasonably priced car round the Top Gear track Video
The reason I applaud the Top Gear choice is that it seals the new direction already established by Chris Evans: a different kind of humour, puckish rather than aggressive; surreal, victimless, self-deprecating, sweet, now handsome. If they were hinting at mission statement before, now they’ve come out and said it: this is going to be everything Jeremy Clarkson wasn’t. You think we’re just going to rehash the same jokes, minus the racist slurs? Pal, you’re wrong: we’ve got a new car hegemony. We’re not going to atone for the old one. We’re going to make you forget you ever watched it.

Although LeBlanc had appeared on Top Gear before, those who have his Friends identity confused with his real one will mainly remember him piling up cardboard boxes under a car cover, to pick up women by pretending he had a Porsche. Even at the time, it was a dated storyline; I’m sure by the 90s women didn’t have to have their desire mediated through materialism. Joey would have got laid anyway, with or without Porsche, is what I’m saying. But I’m taking that moment as synecdoche for Matt LeBlanc’s entire persona, that he is more interested in people than in things, as is Chris Evans.
Top Gear is entering its anthropocene age.

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Matt LeBlanc will co-present Top Gear together with Chris Evans

The former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc will be the new co-presenter of Top Gear, the BBC has announced.

The actor, who also starred in the BBC series Episodes, will join Chris Evans, who took over after Jeremy Clarkson’s exit. LeBlanc has previously appeared on Top Gear as a guest.

“Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining Top Gear. Acting out our craziest car notions on screen is a dream job and I know we’ll both be debating some epic road trip ideas. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to on screen later this year,” Evans said.

LeBlanc said: “As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I’m honoured and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter. What a thrill.”

He later tweeted: “I love the show. Should be fun.”

The Golden Globe-winning actor is the fastest celebrity to-date around the Top Gear track in its reasonably priced car feature. In February 2012, he made it round the track in a Kia C’eed in one minute, 42.1 seconds. A year later, he reappeared to test the new model against the old one.

Matt LeBlanc
He will be the first non-British presenter of the show in its 39-year history when it returns on BBC2 in May, the BBC said.

A BBC source said: “This takes Top Gear in a new direction. Le Blanc’s presence on the show will also be a boost when selling it internationally, particularly in the US where it is due to air on BBC America.”
The timing of the announcement is no coincidence with BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the corporation, set to unveil the new-look show for the first time at its biggest annual event in a crucial pitch to more than 700 international TV buyers.

Evans, and now perhaps LeBlanc, is to front the official unveiling of the show later this month in a PR offensive that aims to secure sales of the show to maintain it as a crown jewel international franchise worth £50m annually to the BBC.

LeBlanc also presented the recent standalone spin-off Top Gear: The Races, where he led fans through some of the most memorable racing moments from the previous 22 series.

In a statement, the BBC said LeBlanc would join production immediately and that additional Top Gear cast members would be “confirmed shortly”.

It is understood that the broadcaster is set to announce German racing driver Sabine Schmitz and motoring journalist Chris Harris.
SabineSchmitz_TheG_Following Sabine Schmitz/Photo by The Guardian
In a previous appearance on the show, Schmitz tried to make it round the Nurburgring in Germany in a Ford Transit van faster than Clarkson could in a Jaguar S-Type.

Alan Tyler, the BBC’s acting controller for entertainment commissioning, said: “Matt is a class act and a brilliant signing for Top Gear. He is a self-confessed car fanatic with a passion for the programme. I’m really looking forward to watching Chris and Matt bring the all new show to our audiences.”


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