• Dec 3, 2009

Our heart goes out to the crew at Fifth Gear. It really does. Because it's got to be tough living in the shadow of the BBC show that spawned it. We're talking about Top Gear, of course, and by any other yardstick, Fifth Gear is a fantastic car show. But its popularity has never approached what Clarkson and company enjoy, which has reportedly led to UK's Channel 5 decision to cancel the show. Which is really a shame.

All hope may not be lost, however, as reports indicate that Channel 5's decision isn't final just yet. But if it is, the show's lead host Tiff Needell has hinted that it could very well get picked up by another network altogether. Alternatively, Needell could get a show of his own. If he does, we hope he takes some of his co-hosts with him. Because short of Jezza, Hampster, Captain Slow and the Stig, Fifth Gear's ensemble is one of the best – on the airwaves or off. Thanks for the tip, Paul T!

[Source: Tiff Needell on Twitter via iCars Singapore]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The presenters on Fifth Gear always come across as try-hards... compared to the effortless performances on Top Gear. There's a big element of NAFF, the result of really loose production values - and yes they really should sack at least half the presenters. Still, I hope they solve their problems, not throw out the whole thing. Trying to outdo Top Gear will never work.
      • 5 Years Ago
      maybe they can come to the US and host Top gear USA? just a thought lol
      • 5 Years Ago
      Although no where near as entertaining as Top Gear, I would argue that Fifth Gear is more informative and useful, as far as car reviews go. The staff is great, and I certainly don't mind watching 5th Gear in the Top Gear off-season.

      I'd miss them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Vicki Butler-Henderson, Tiff Needell, and Jason Plato seems like a nice line-up too me... maybe add Sabine Schmidt as a SheStig, and I think they could be Sixth, Seventh or even Eighth Gear (but never "top")
        • 5 Years Ago
        VBH isn't a slouch, either, but four amazing drivers is a great way to get more focus on the cars than the gimmicks. And look up Sabine driving the van on Top Gear; pure entertainment. Plus, a motoring show with two ladies who can drive the snot out off cars is way more fun to watch then Clarckson's fat arse going around the same track endlessly bitching.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd take that lineup any day.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sabine has her own show with 2 other racing drivers :

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtQub1FA_UM&feature=related

        i thought Fifth gear was nice until the last season when they started those stupid bike challenges and started talking about potholes and other boring stuff instead of testing cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Considering Tiff is an ex-F1 driver, and Plato is a current touring car driver, I'm not sure they really need a 'stig.'

        If they want to be a success, they need to focus on the cars rather than silly challenges for the purposes of entertainment, they tried to go a bit 'Top Gear' a couple of years ago (when Tim Lovejoy was on it), and it was pretty awful.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have huge respect for Tiff Needell - how's this for a dream team: Tiff Needell, Alain DeCadenet, Jason Plato and Vicki BH?

      A version of Fifth Gear that focuses on cars, without the stunts, bikes and other nonsense (including the shameless grabs for laughs) would be a show I'd trade Top Gear for.

      Really, Top Gear is getting incredibly lame. Will you miss "star in a reasonably priced car", the laugh track and the convenient pan to another host as he "spontaneously" makes a funny remark? I used to be a huge fan, but Top Gear is becoming too polished for my tastes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fifth gear, while a good motoring show.
      Misses something that top gear hits time and time again...

      humour.
      • 5 Years Ago
      get rid of the back 3 in that picture and I think the show would be much better
      • 5 Years Ago
      Like many that have posted here so far, I love Top Gear. I watched it regularly in it's first incarnation (back when Tiff and Vicki were on the show), but I've been fanatical since it was relaunched with the new, superior format.

      I used to watch Fifth Gear during the months in which Top Gear wasn't airing, but I typically skip through half the show, and get to the juicy bits. Some of this segments were more boring than watching paint dry. Eventually I just gave up on it. I would much rather spend that time re-watching Top Gear.

      The TG crew have a chemistry that the presenters of Fifth Gear cannot match. Even if they production values were nonexistent, and the cinematography was crap (read: Fifth Gear quality), the chemistry between Jeremy, Richard and James alone would carry the show. I have many non-car enthusiast friends who have watch the show with me, just because those three cheeky brits are so funny. And even when the show doesn't feature cars, it's still great: The Vietnam special is epic.

      I am a die-hard, life long car nut. But like I have said before I don't need to watch a car show to tell me about a car's figures. That's what magazines are for. There's no waiting...I flip open a page and find out how much something costs, or how much power it has or how many it can seat. I'd much rather do that, and then go do some test driving, than spend time watching boring tripe like Motorweek or Fifth gear. Fifth Gear followed this formula, then attempted to mimic Top Gear, and failed...because of the lack of the aforementioned humor, charm, and high production values.

      Watching Jeremy rave or rant on the track about another supercar is better than ANYTHING Fifth Gear has ever done. And you do learn something from Top Gear car reviews. You learn which cars are soulless, and which cars can stir your own.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not as funny as Top Gear, but they review more realistic cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you're watching the shows to actually choose a new or used car - Fifth Gear was the better show to watch. As the other comments say, you can't really compare FG with Top Gear as the difference in budgets is so huge.

      I could watch an entire episode of Fifth Gear, but whilst the epic challenges on Top Gear are brilliant, I often channel hop during TG - particularly when celebrities are chatting with Clarkson or the Cool Wall is featured. It's a shame Tiff can't be featured in Top Gear, he's a fantastic driver and very entertaining.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lets put all the comparisons to Top Gear aside, 5th gear has really struggled to make a quality show out of itself. For many seasons, it was just plain bad, bad hosts, bad segments, boring cars, VBH squealing, so terrible to hear! They often put down TopGear, while Clarkson only said niceish things about fifth gear and ALWAYS good things about Tiff. In his recent DVD Duel he had Tiff and Vikki on, which was so wonderful, he only praises them and makes fun of Tiff, just like the old days, it was perfect and it should be the way of things to come.
      They stumbled apon dogfights, which used to be awesome then they ruined it, by cutting it too short. (back when Plato was super arrogant on the show) They almost got the format right towards the end, but never quite right. Tiff is the Man, he should fully defect to TopGear, the world is a perfect place. Sadly there were some boring north american driving shows more interesting then Fifth gear and thats a sad way to be. Also Sabine Schmitz from D-Motor, even though she isn't physically that hot, since shes the queen of the ring, it makes her very hot indeed....
      • 5 Years Ago
      It really is a shame. I don't watch Fifth Gear religiously like I do Top Gear. It's not my kind of show, BUT that doesn't mean it isn't a good car show for other people. I'm sure there is a large audience that would like to see a show about cars, but isn't attracted to Top Gear because Top Gear is so much.... well, Top Gearish. :-) I actually enjoyed Top Gear immensely when they still did comparos of real everyday cars. It was still entertaining and funny, even though I didn't care about some of the cars. I feel like Fifth Gear filled that slot when Top Gear left that sort of format for bigger and more explosive things.

      Heck, if Top Gear didn't exist and Fifth Gear was the only english language motoring show around, I certainly wouldn't be complaining. It's light years ahead of anything we've got to offer in the U.S. We don't even know the meaning behind "motoring show".
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