Entertainment & Arts

O'Leary's Getaway Car gets mixed reviews

Getaway Car
Image caption Dermot O'Leary told the Radio Times the show was 'Gogglebox meets Total Wipeout'

Getaway Car, BBC One's new flagship Saturday night game show starring Top Gear character The Stig, has had a mixed response from TV critics.

Getaway Car sees five couples tackle four rounds of driving challenges, the last team standing race The Stig for the chance to win £10,000.

Hosted by Dermot O'Leary, it was called both "dull and disappointing" as well as "fun family entertainment".

Viewing figures were of 4.1m, lower than the slot average of 5.8m.

Magic show Now You See It, pulled in an average 4.7m viewers in the equivalent slot last year.

In the last 12 months, BBC One has seen average viewing figures for the 7-8pm period on Saturday evening of about 5.8m, according to Barb figures supplied by Overnights TV.

In an interview for Radio Times at the weekend, O'Leary described his new show as "Gogglebox meets Total Wipeout", referring to the hit Channel 4 and BBC One shows.

The basis for his description was the use of in-car cameras to catch contestants screaming and arguing and moments of jubilation.

Bells and whistles

The publication's review said it was "fun family entertainment to drive away the January blues", adding the show "which sees couples team up, row and give The Stig a run for his money is a winner".

However Christopher Stevens in the Daily Mail was not impressed: "The Getaway Car is the worst TV spin-off since Joey Tribbiani got his own series on the back of Friends," referring to pre-show speculation that it was being pushed as a new rival for Top Gear.

"To bypass the problem that the Stig won't or can't talk, the producers brought in motormouth Dermot O'Leary, a man who won't or can't shut up."

Michael Hogan in the Telegraph looked for the positives, highlighting the amount of effort he considered to have been lavished on its "car football. Blindfolds. Quiz questions. Hyperactive graphics".

But his final analysis was one of disappointment: "The longer the show went on, the more its faults became apparent.

"It was slow, repetitive and unevenly paced... Overall, it felt like an over-stretched segment on Top Gear, TFI Friday or a Bushtucker Trial off I'm A Celebrity, strung out for a full hour."

Matt Baylis in the Express said: "The golden rule of a banana throwing competition is that you don't give bananas as prizes, and something similar applies to driving-themed game shows.

"The only viewers who could have stayed the course, I suspect, would have been TV critics or people forced to watch it while being interrogated in secret CIA prisons."

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