Baker hosted the original Top Gear for eleven years from 1980 to 1991, she was one of the first female motoring journalists, and she rallied in a short wheel base Audi Quattro. Clarkson joined Top Gear in 1988 and eventually took over from Baker. Baker spoke about Clarkson back in 2015 reflecting on that time together, she described Clarkson:
“Back then I was coming to the tail end of my time on Top Gear and he was a curly-haired, outrageous, outspoken lad who the producer decided to try out and found the audience loved,
“He was a gangly youth back then but you could immediately see he had something. The camera loved him, the audience loved him, he was outspoken, he was outrageous and a star was born.
“It’s quite different from the Top Gear I was on back in the 1980s, now it’s a comedy-entertainment show and hugely entertaining and people absolutely love it.”
When Baker left Top Gear in 1991, Clarkson took over her position in the show and ratings soared. Clarkson left the original Top Gear in 1998 and then he rebooted the show alongside Andy Wilman in 2002. When speaking about the differences between the modern and the original Top Gear, Baker said in a YouTube interview with ‘Brown Car Guy’, in 2021:
“I think it was very much right for its time. We did do some mild adventurous stuff, but it was a BBC two program. It was meant to show people what the cars were like, it was meant to give our impressions. It literally was, you know, a series of road tests on the screen and i think it was right for its time but I don’t think it would work in the same way now.
“I’m often asked, you know, why don’t we bring back old Top Gear and do it the way it was done. I don’t think that will work now, we’re in a different world, people want more exciting stuff.
“It was of its time and it was a tremendous time to be involved in it but I don’t think it would work today.”
Tributes have come flooding in from fans and also those who have had the pleasure of working alongside Baker throughout her career, paying their respects.