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July 28, 2014

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Is Top Gear about to run out of road?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 24th 2009 3:50PM
Top Gear is one of those shows that feels like it could go on forever. It's been on for a long time, yet still manages to retain a rare youthful exuberance that makes it feel fresh and forever young. It's the Dick Clark of the British television world.

But nothing lasts forever and producer Andy Wilman told The Guardian that Top Gear, like all great shows, is headed towards a finale.

And there is no bigger critic of the show than Wilman. He said they were "too rushed and too knackered to get everything right" and were just wanting to get to the end of the latest season running in the UK. He even described the presents as caricatures of themselves with "Jezza (Jeremy Clarkson) the walking nuclear bomb, Richard (Hammond) the daft Norman Wisdom, and James (May) the bumbling professor."

Does this put you off of the new season coming to the States in January? It sure does for me.

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Some say The Stig has a face and that he'll reveal it on the next season of Top Gear

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 23rd 2009 9:02PM
The new season of Top Gear hasn't hit the US airwaves yet, but it seems the most recent has ended, as Jeremy Clarkson might put it, on quite a bombshell.

The Stig
, the show's mysterious test driver, actually revealed his identity during the last season, probably the new one headed stateside next month. So if you're a fan of the show and hate spoilers, don't watch it. Also, some say his eyes can emit laser beams that can cook potatoes from the inside and that people have mistaken the mole on his face for an image of the Virgin Mary. All we know is we won't be held responsible for the consequences.

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Armando Iannucci talks up new season of BBC's The Thick of It

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 14th 2009 6:01PM
Malcolm Tucker removes another man's dignity on The Think of It.The Thick of It is not only one of the funniest shows in the history of British TV, it's the smartest most insightful political comedy in the history of the medium anywhere on the planet.

The news earlier this year that it's coming back for a second season on BBC2 after its original six episode run (and a Christmas special) trumps any announcement American TV comedies can muster.

In this new video -- shot while promoting In the Loop (a movie based on The Thick of It) -- series creator Armando Iannucci discussed the series' return to production.

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Executive producer John Lloyd explains BBC's import impasse of QI

by Danny Gallagher, posted Aug 11th 2009 3:02PM
Actress Liza Tarbuck and Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson on QIJohn Hodgman's public lambasting of the BBC for not bringing QI to America didn't explain the network's reason for their decision, other than Dumb Ol' America is so dumb (how dumb are we?) that when we go to a sperm bank, we ask the teller for a BLANK.

Thankfully, Hodgman isn't the only man coming to the U.S.A.'s defense. John Lloyd, the show's executive producer, feels the same way so much so that he was willing to interrupt his vacation in Turkey to chat with me about it.

"Garth Ancier (BBC America chief) is convinced that Americans 'won't get it'," Lloyd said in an email. "We disagree (of course!)."

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Heroes coming to BBC Two next year

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 27th 2006 8:34PM
HeroesYou know that a series has become a hit in America when British TV starts clamoring for it. But its especially interesting when the stuffy, government-run BBC picks up a show. So, to US fans, the news that Heroes will start airing on BBC Two in 2007 is a bit of a surprise; this seemed like a show that was more suitable for one of the independent channels over there, like ITV.

But the Beeb likes what it sees in what has become the highest-rated new show on American TV. "Heroes is a fresh and imaginative take on the superhero theme and features amazing special effects – BBC Two is the perfect home for such an intriguing, intelligent and irresistible drama," Sue Deeks, the network's head of series acquisition said in a press release. It only holds the over-the-air rights to the show; SciFi UK owns the cable, pay TV, and satellite rights.

By the way, for those who think the BBC is all high-culture, other shows on Two include Family Guy and a British version of The Apprentice. So Heroes should fit right in.

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Top Gear driver back behind the wheel

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 13th 2006 6:21PM
Richard HammondFans of popular British automotive show Top Gear will be happy to hear that co-host Richard Hammond, who suffered from serious injuries in a 288mph jet car crash, has gotten back behind the wheel. I should add that his mother and wife probably aren't that happy about it, but car fanatics know that Hammond belongs in the driver's seat.

Just ask American car enthusiast Jay Leno who wrote a column entitled "Motormouth: In Praise of Danger" for the UK's Times defending Hammond's and friend Steve Irwin's dangerous passions. "I am sure Richard would be the first to admit life is a risk. But he was doing what he loved most." Leno goes on to describe how lame American car shows are. When compared to Top Gear, he's right.

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