SBS to produce local Top Gear

SBS will produce a “quintessentially Australian” version of the BBC’s Top Gear next year.

Australia is the first country in the world to secure the rights to make a local version of the show. It will be made by production company Freehand which has produced Missing Persons Unit, Honey We’re Killing the Kids and Celebrity Joker Poker.

“This is fantastic news for SBS, for Top Gear fans and for Australian audiences,” SBS director of content Matt Campbell said.

SBS has also secured the original series for further runs, despite other networks clamoring for it.

“In making it we won’t simply replicate the UK series with an Australian version of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond or James May,” said Campbell.

Host Jeremy Clarkson said, “I’m delighted that Top Gear is going to Australia. Maybe the first guest could by Jonny Wilkinson” referring to Britain’s rugby player and World Cup hero.”

Source: Yahoo


  1. More to the point, where is SBS going to get the cash from to produce a show this expensive? Last time I checked, SBS was crying poor – so poor they have to destroy programs with ad breaks.

    One episode of the UK Top Gear would cost more to produce than an entire year of SBS local content. WHich leads me to think this local version will be one of two things:

    1. Embarrasingly inept and lightweight, or

    2. Advertorial paid for by car manufacturers/delares, a la Nine’s dreadful “Test Drive” (notice how that show has loved every single car they’ve reviewed so far? 🙂

  2. I’ve followed the AAP info.

    This is in Wikipedia:

    In April 2007, the BBC reported on a Sun story that Top Gear had been in talks about creating an American version. The current presenters would remain as hosts, but the show would focus on American cars and include American celebrities.[11] The Sun reported in July, however, that plans for an American version had been shelved, partly over Clarkson’s misgivings about spending several months in the U.S., away from his family.[12] Besides, Clarkson is not known for his love of American cars, or Americans themselves.

  3. You mention that Australia is the first country to get the rights to do a local version of the show… I thought the US did (or still do) have their own local version of ‘Top Gear’?

  4. Disturbing. Australian’s can’t do the sort of humour Top Gear is loved for… and we don’t have access to most of the awesome cars that Top Gear is loved for, either…

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