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Andy On The Foreign Top Gears And On Us!
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Posted June 4th, 2008 at 12:26 by Viper007Bond in Andy Wilman, Top Gear

Yep, we got another plug from the man himself. In his latest blog post which is a follow-up to part one, he talks in-depth about the new Australian and American versions of Top Gear:

The big problem is the nature of the show itself. If you’re setting up a foreign The Weakest Link or Millionaire, it’s quite straightforward – you need to copy the set and more or less copy the structure of the show, get a decent Chris Tarrant or a fierce redhead and you’re there.

But Top Gear is much harder because it’s essentially about those three and the way they do what they do, rather than just what they do.

The answer has to be to (a) alter the show to suit – so don’t force the Aussies to do their own Cool Wall if you’re going to watch Jeremy and Richard deliver a tour de force a week later, think of something else to do. And (b) each show must acknowledge the other one exists, so they can take the piss out of each other.

The amount of care and effort he and the other Brits are putting into the two shows is really giving me high hopes that they won’t turn out to be crap. Of course time will tell.

He also mentions all of us here a Final Gear:

In America the issue is different, because although our show isn’t well known there, the ones who do know it are hardcore fans – particularly the peeps on Final Gear. They are very strict about our output and performances, and I noticed quite a few even slating us for Top Gear Ground Force. Actually I’m with them, because we’re not great when we have to be performing monkeys, but it was a bit of a party piece for charity so you’ll have to forgive us.

Now although Final Gear live in fear of BBC lawyers cos they always nick the show, I know that NBC would be as chuffed as nuts if they liked the US version, which is sort of an indicator as to how seriously NBC are taking the issue. Mostly networks just aim for the broad audience and forget the hardcore.

He also goes on to what I’ve been trying to stress ever since the American version of Top Gear was announced:

So will we satisfy the US diehards? Dunno, but partly it’s up to them. If they just compare everything in the US show to what Jeremy, Richard and James do, they’ll be disappointed, because those three did get their first and they are the bollocks at it.

If, on the other hand, they take Top Gear US for what it is – a bunch of guys, hopefully with their own proper relationship, just looking at car stuff in America, but in the Top Gear way – they may like it. And our version will always be there anyway.

I honestly cannot wait for either import, although hopefully the Australian version will come with subtitles. :P

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