Former Top Gear host admits there’s things fans will ‘never see’

A former Top Gear presenter has reflected on his time working on the show as rumours circulate that the popular motoring show will be cancelled after 46 years.

Chris Goffey was one of the longest serving presenters of the programme, road testing the latest models between 1981 and 2000.

Chris recalled that his time on the show began when he met the show’s producer on a flight back from the launch of a new model.

He said: “I was editor of Motor Trader magazine and went to Japan on a launch of a Mazda. I flew back with a guy called Jim Popal, director of ITV’s car programme Drive In, who asked if I wanted to come on and do a piece about the Japanese car industry.

“I did a short piece for him and ended up doing two seasons of Drive In. And then, literally again, I shared an aeroplane back from a launch with the producer of Top Gear and he asked, ‘did you want to come over to us?’, and I said ‘yeah, okay’. I never planned anything, it always just happened!”

Whilst Chris left Top Gear to work on new projects over 20 years ago, the upcoming series of the programme was set to see him reunite with two other former hosts in a celebration of the show’s history.

He explained: “We filmed a sequence a few months ago for Top Gear, an old presenter’s piece. Angela Rippon was driving a DeTomaso Pantera, Tiff Needel had a Subaru Impreza, and I had a Lotus Esprit.

“I don’t think it will ever be shown, if they cancel Top Gear, you’ll never see it. A lot of people have said it’s a shame and they’d like to see it, but there you go.”

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Chris highlighted that a change in the shows format during 2002 made it into more of a comedy programme, but fondly remembers featuring in many entertaining segments.

He added: “I suppose it’s a heritage thing now, it’s been going on for so many years. I think the entertainment side of the programme makes the hosts almost comedy stars now, so a very different audience to the original programme.

“And we did a lot of fun things too. I remember driving a military Land Rover submerged in a lake wearing a wetsuit and just the exhaust and the snorkel sticking up, like a submarine. Then I put a dinner jacket on top of the wetsuit, a reprise of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.”

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Rumours that Top Gear would be cancelled came after an insider quoted that it would be impossible to continue following Freddie Flintoff’s crash during filming in December 2022.

The accident left the former England cricketer with broken ribs and some facial injuries, describing his ongoing recovery as a difficult time.

However, the BBC has responded to the speculation, stating that the future of the popular programme will be reviewed in due course.

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