This is the full story of the unstoppable rise of Clarkson, Hammond, May and The Stig - and how they have transformed an ordinary programme about cars into one of the most famous and best-loved TV programmes of the 21st century.
Reaching a peak in the 1990s thanks to presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the original series then faced the axe in 2001 - but Clarkson and producer Andy Wilman successfully pitched a new format to BBC bosses and Top Gear returned to become the irreverent, funny and often controversial show we now know and love.
The addition of co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May completed the Top Gear dream team and ratings soared asviewers tuned in to see the latest Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, arguments over the Cool Wall and Power Laps by the mysterious Stig. Top Gear has long attracted criticism for its dangerous stunts and the presenters' controversial opinions.
©2011 Martin Roach (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd