Top Gear

On This Day Top Gear Filmed First Episode Of Rebooted Car Show With Jeremy Clarkson

On August 23rd, 2002, Top Gear began its legendary journey, introducing a fresh perspective on automobiles and entertainment. Over the years, it evolved from a mere motoring show to a global sensation, capturing the hearts of millions with its unique blend of reviews, humour, and adventures.

It’s often said that beginnings hold a unique charm. They mark the dawn of new eras, the start of fresh journeys, and the anticipation of what’s to come. August 23rd, 2002, was one such momentous day. Today, we take a step back in time, 21 years ago, to revisit that iconic day when the engines roared to life, the cameras started rolling, and the world was introduced to what would soon become a legendary motoring series – Top Gear.

The Birth of a Motoring Legacy

Precisely 21 years ago today on August 23rd, 2002, production started for the very first series of Top Gear. This wasn’t just the beginning of another TV show; it was the start of a revolution that would change the way we perceive automobiles and entertainment.

Underneath the vast and expansive British sky, an audacious experiment took shape. Jeremy Clarkson, with his characteristic wit, was gearing up to present a side of cars the world hadn’t quite seen. The very first item on the agenda? Road testing the intriguing Renault Vel Satis.

Jeremy took the Vel Satis for a spin along the iconic M4 corridor, heading to Swindon. This was not your run-of-the-mill test drive. It was Top Gear setting the stage, introducing viewers to a unique blend of meticulous reviews, humour, challenges, and epic journeys.

While the Renault Vel Satis might not have become the superstar of the car world, its significance in Top Gear lore cannot be overstated. It symbolized a commitment to reviewing an eclectic mix of vehicles, not just the supercars and the giants but also the everyday cars, the unsung heroes that dot our highways and byways.

From that inaugural shoot in 2002, Top Gear transformed from a conventional motoring show to a global phenomenon. The rich tapestry of cars reviewed, adventures embarked upon, and the camaraderie between the hosts became the stuff of television legend, boasting a global viewership that frequently exceeded 350 million across 170+ countries.

This made it the most-watched factual television program in the world. The unique blend of car reviews, audacious challenges, and infectious camaraderie between its hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May made it an unparalleled success.

The Grand Tour

However, following controversies and internal disputes in 2015, the iconic trio departed the BBC. Undeterred, they quickly embarked on a new motoring odyssey with Amazon Prime, creating The Grand Tour, a show that continued their legacy of automotive adventures and humour, delighting fans globally.

Looking back at August 23rd, 2002, we’re reminded of the humble beginnings of a show that would go on to redefine automotive journalism. It was a day that heralded the start of an epic journey, a drive that would span continents, cultures, and, most importantly, the hearts of millions.

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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