Top Gear’s last spin on SBS

tguSBS will say goodbye to Top Gear after five years and 13 series in mid-January.

Nine swooped on the show in October, winning the Australian rights to both Top Gear and Top Gear Australia after a fierce bidding battle.

The deal has bruised SBS which took a punt on the show and built up its brand in Australia.

The show is currently airing unseen “classic” episodes from Series 4 on Mondays at 7.30pm on SBS ONE.

The very last to air on SBS will be Series 4 Episode 10 on Monday 18th January.

James is sent on a shopping trip to brighten up the Top Gear studio and heads to an antique fair in a Volvo V50 estate.

Richard asks “Why do people buy four-door saloons?” With so many other options available, why do people choose the traditional boring four-door saloon? Richard tests the Peugeot 407 and takes it to the Croft Racing Circuit to use as the pace car for the rolling 70mph race start.

Richard checks out an American classic and stages a United Nations drag race between Britain’s TVR350, Japan’s Honda NSX, Germany’s Porsche 911 and America’s Corvette.

“This seems to happen every time we test a car from the colonies. It was the same when Jeremy drove the Australian Holden. They’re a bit crude, but really, really fun. This one is like an American footballer. It might look simple, it might belch in sports bars, but underneath there’s quite an athlete,” says Richard.

Jeremy drives the BMW X3 and Irish talk show host, Patrick Kielty, is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.


  1. I’ve just been given a sneak preview of how Nine will handle TG.

    – Jan ’10 – Put it on at 7.30 on Monday nights between “Classic” Two and a Half Men and “All New” Two and a Half Men.

    – Feb ’10 TG struggles for ratings after two episodes and is moved to a new time slot of Thursday nights as a lead in to CSI Wagga

    – Mar ’10 TG Australia is launched with Shane Warne, Glen Ridge and Daryl Somers as hosts. First episode features Warnie reviewing panel vans, Glen Ridge trying to be James May and lots of short jokes about Daryl Somers mixed in with 50 mentions of “…….and thanks to our sponsors Holden…………”

  2. I’m sad to see Top Gear leaving SBS. I don’t why, but I am quietly confident that Channel Nine will be able to make a real fist of it! I await eagerly to see who will star in the revamped Australian format. Shane Warne has been touted, which sounds intriguing. It will take some brilliant casting to get anywhere near the chemistry in display in the original version.

  3. ETA – I would assume the BBC has tight regulations on how it’s product can be used, ege editing. Just like any studio they would have contracts in place and cutting parts from the show would be top of the no-no list.

    Now whether BBC will give Nine a different international version running just 45 mins instead of the usual 50+min that airs on SBS (and BBC Knowledge) is anyones guess until it airs. I’m lucky enough to have the originals from the last couple of seasons so you can see what has been removed.

    It is ironic that other internal shows such as Mythbusters actually get more than the local version, in this case the US. I’ve noticed several shows where there are a couple of scenes added to the ones that air on SBS. I think it has to do with the lack of local www support for the show. They ofter tell the viewers in the US to visit the site for more stuff.

  4. The series currently airing in the UK is series 14.

    You’re right, the version given to SBS is the “international” version, which is edited by the BBC prior to sale. Only BBC2 shows the whole episode. Even BBC Prime and BBC Worldwide show edited versions. I don’t know where you heard that Nine can’t edit it further, but God I hope its true. If so, the episodes will appear just as they did on SBS.

    As for the local version, I just hope that they keep Warren, Steve and James. The show needs some work, but I think they’ve found the right hosts.

  5. @Stiggie – aside from ‘classic’ eps TG should start with the series that is currently airing in the UK, but the question should be when?

    As for editing from reports I’ve read BBC gives SBS an already edited version for commercial TV at between 45=50 min long from the 60min show that airs on BBC. Nine can’t edit it any more but it will be interesting to see what is left out.

    BTW The current series has been as crazy as ever.

    I’m more interested is seeing what they do with the local version where they will have more freedom as for length and content.

  6. They should put Myth busters on the same time slot, like they used to a while back when the season of topgear would finish.

    Dont panic sbs, just give us something else to watch that you can build up like you built up TG. I still think moving 9 is going to kill off the series in Australia – too heavily edited, and most likely stuck between episodes of 2.5 men.

  7. As I said it before, SBS and the ABC needs extra funding from the Federal Government to retain existing program rights, to prevent this from happening again.

  8. With Austar now getting BBC Knowledge I’ve been watching more TG than every and most of it not on SBS, apart from new TGA and seeing how they butcher the UK version I won’t be watching it much on Nine.

    Do we know yet whether GO! will be getting the ‘classic’ eps to run 5 nights a week?

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