So the first battle is over. But the war continues.
And, frankly, we can all calm down a bit now that the first series of the post-Clarkson, Hammond and May era Top Gear has been and gone, and the Old-Top-Gear-with-a-bigger-budget Grand Tour has also aired its wares over on Amazon Prime.
The result? There was one high profile casualty, in the form of Chris Evans, who took the bullet for the new Top Gear’s underperformance, while The Grand Tour was widely acknowledged to have triumphed overall.
Hardly a surprise, given the years of experience and undoubted talent of Clarkson, Hammond and May – but now, with Evans gone, the three remaining BBC boys – Matt LeBlanc, together with the promoted-to-main-spots Rory Reid and Chris Harris, have the opportunity, with rather less pressure, to step up to the plate and put their own stamp on things in the new series.
And from the look of this first teaser of the new series, featuring a mock interview with the BBC’s ‘insurance department’ we’re quietly confident that it’s going to be highly enjoyable.
What isn’t known is whether the likes of Eddie Jordan and Sabine Schmitz will be returning; we also don’t have a start date for the second ‘new’ series, although we suspect it can’t be too far away. Having had the chance to develop the series without the media reporting on every twist and turn, there’s every chance it could be a real improvement: here’s hoping.