Top Gear has always been a programme about cars of many shapes and forms, but when it came to the Clarkson-led era of the show that wasn't why it was so popular. It was entertainment, some scripted and some not, with cars in the middle, and wasn't the kind of thing designed to appeal to diehard motorists. The recent revivals didn't quite catch onto that with its more 'petrolheady' vibe, but according to Matt LeBlanc that will be changing.
The 25th series is set to air next April, and LeBlanc has been speaking about how he and his co-presenters (Chris Harris and Rory Reid) have been trying to make Top Gear more appealing to a wider audience.
"I think we've tried to broaden the demographic of the show. Try to make it not lose the petrolhead nature of it but maybe open it up to people who aren't so petrolheady. Expand the comedy, try to have bigger, broader films, but it will be more of the same in the sense it starts with the car."
He also made it clear that the new series would still be closer to series 24 (which aired earlier this year) than to the Chris Evans-led series that came before it. Evans' time on the show didn't go down well with audiences, to say the least, and while LeBlanc declined to talk about Series 24's viewing figures BBC Two controller Patrick Holland has previously said that it had received "healthy" viewing figures. Holland also emphasised that it could not be compared to the Clarkson-led era, because that was a "completely different" programme.
From the sounds of things it feels as though the next series of Top Gear will be taking a few lessons from the earlier version of the show. That can only be a good thing, and while the 24th series was a massive improvement over the one that came before, it still needed a bit of work. Here's hoping they can continue making everything better. [BBC News]