Top Gear Series 22 opener to simulcast globally in 50 countries across 4 continents
Other globally popular television shows have cunning ways of launching their new seasons such as world tours and the like, but I thought of an easier way to let the planet know we're back - the interweb!Jeremy Clarkson
Also 10 countries across Asia including Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and Mongolia will, for the first time ever, air the episode within 24 hours of the UK transmission.
The series premiere will be preceded a week earlier by An Evening With Top Gear, that will see the presenting trio preview the new season in front of a live and global audience of fans on January 18th. Hosted by British broadcaster Christian O’Connell, the event will comprise of an extended interview with the world’s most revered petrol heads as well as an audience and online Q&A. The trio will discuss the challenges of creating the show as well as presenting exclusive clips from the eagerly anticipated 22nd series of one of the planet’s most popular programmes. The special one-off event will be broadcast worldwide on Top Gear’s official YouTube channel at 2100hrs GMT.
Jeremy Clarkson said: "Other globally popular television shows have cunning ways of launching their new seasons such as world tours and the like, but I thought of an easier way to let the planet know we're back - the interweb! Fond as I am of passport control queues and restricting my carry-on liquids to 100ml, I much preferred the idea of driving one mile from my home in London to celebrate this series with fans everywhere at the same time."
Richard Hammond commented: "Even though this launch event means spending a Sunday evening with Jeremy, it's important that we remind everyone that Top Gear is back, because I feel we've been starved of attention lately. I’m looking forward to talking to fans from around the world and finding out what exactly appeals to them about watching three middle-aged men repeatedly fall over.”
James May added: “Using the internet to talk to our fans from around the world is a brilliant idea. It's exactly what the internet is for. In fact, I'm not sure why I have to drive to a Victorian theatre and sit on an uncomfortable chair to do this. Someone hasn't thought this through.”
To celebrate the upcoming launch of the new series in the UK, which begins a 10-week run on BBC Two at 2000hrs on January 25th, An Evening with Top Gear will be broadcast on BBC Red Button and www.bbc.co.uk/topgear at 2100hrs GMT this Sunday (Jan 18th) and will be available for 30 days on BBC iPlayer from later that evening.
The dramatic series opener sees the boys in Russia for an incredible race across the vast and very beautiful urban landscape of St Petersburg. May defends the honour of the car in a very small Renault, Hammond tries to prove that pedalling is faster by saddling up a bicycle, whilst Clarkson attempts to demonstrate that water is the quickest way across town, especially if you’re in a hovercraft. To make matters more complicated, all three presenters are racing not only each other but also The Stig, who is silently making his way towards the finish line on public transport.
Top Gear is the world’s most widely watched factual television programme according to the Guinness Book of World Records; broadcasts to 214 territories worldwide; has an estimated global audience of 350 million; and has over 24 million fans on Facebook. The show’s successful format has already spawned local versions in the US, China, Russia, Australia and South Korea.
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