We’re just days away from the premiere of the BBC’s reconfigured Top Gear and only a few months away from Clarkson, Hammond, and May’s new Amazon series The Grand Tour, but England’s third car program has reportedly been cancelled. Fifth Gear, which rose from the ashes of the original Top Gear in 2002, has apparently been cancelled due to a lack of funding.
Long-time host Tiff Needell announced the news in a series of tweets. Needell, along with Vicki Butler-Henderson and Quentin Willson, joined Fifth Gear after BBC’s first iteration of Top Gear, which they all co-hosted, was cancelled in 2001.
Fifth Gear has always existed in the shadow of the much more popular Clarkson/Hammond/May revamp of Top Gear, though it had its own following. Needell, Butler-Henderson, and previous host Jason Plato are all accomplished race car drivers, so the show always featured a lot of driving skill on display.
In happier news, there’s no reason to feel bad for Tiff. As you can see from his Twitter feed, Needell is still quite busy enjoying various automotive pursuits. We have a strong feeling we’ll be seeing more from Tiff, Vicki Butler-Henderson, and the rest of the Fifth Gear team in short order.