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[01/16/08 - 02:14 PM]
New U.S. Premiere Season of International Hit Car Show, Top Gear
The show's 10th season - featuring guest stars Simon Cowell, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Saunders - premieres Monday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

[via press release from BBC America]

NEW U.S. PREMIERE SEASON OF INTERNATIONAL HIT CAR SHOW, TOP GEAR

- With guest stars Simon Cowell, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Saunders -

BBC America's International Emmy-winning car show, Top Gear, returns for a new U.S. premiere season with ambitious challenges only the very brave or very foolish would dare to undertake. The intrepid three hosts race through the Kalahari Desert in 20-year-old clunkers and attempt to break Sir Richard Branson's record by crossing the treacherous English Channel in a fleet of amphibious cars.

Top Gear, new season premieres Monday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Miles away from earnest road tests or statistics, here cars are just a starting point for the adventures of three refreshingly irreverent hosts. The tall and witty Jeremy Clarkson leads the trio with his heavy right foot. Richard Hammond is the feisty daredevil with soap star looks. James May (aka Captain slow), with his amiable shaggy dog appearance and wry humour, completes the gang on one of the UK's all-time most popular television franchises. Rounding out the team is the silent and mysterious racing driver The Stig, who pushes cars and celebrities to their limits on the Top Gear test track.

This season features a transcontinental trip to find the world's best driving road, a drag race between a Bugatti Veyron and a Eurofighter Typhoon jet, man versus machine experiments and weekly power tests featuring the world's most exotic super cars. Once again The Stig puts the rich and famous through the paces in the �Star in the Reasonably Priced Car' feature. Getting behind the wheel on the test track this season are Academy Award�-winner Dame Helen Mirren, Simon Cowell, Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood, Doctor Who's David Tennant, Absolutely Fabulous' Jennifer Saunders and rhythm-and-blues maestro Jools Holland.

Top Gear takes extraordinary and ordinary cars to the limit and beyond to find out if they're as good as their manufacturers claim. Full of extreme stunts, challenges and weekly features, Top Gear is exciting, inclusive and passionate � there are no boring stats and impenetrable conversations about camshafts and tire pressures. But it is the sharp wit of Jeremy, Richard, and James that make it more than just a motor show.

One of the most successful and interesting phenomenon's on UK television, Top Gear defies traditional notions of programming genre and has become a global phenomenon reaching 150 million homes worldwide. Part factual and part entertainment, the award winning car show doesn't fit into any standard category.

Just announced, NBC has ordered a pilot for a U.S. version of Top Gear from BBC Worldwide America.

BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring razor-sharp comedies, provocative dramas, life-changing makeovers and news with a uniquely global perspective. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. BBC AMERICA is distributed by Discovery Networks. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV.

For more information about BBC AMERICA visit www.bbcamerica.com

EPISODE SYNOPSES

Episode 1

Top Gear returns with a bang. The hosts take a transcontinental trip to find the world's best driving road and try out the new anniversary special edition of the VW Golf. Also, Helen Mirren stops by to test her skills behind the wheel.

Episode 2

This week Jeremy, Richard and James again attempt to build amphibious cars to sail across the English Channel. Will they be more successful this time? Jools Holland stops by to talk cars while the boys debate whether a new Audi can compare to a Porsche.

Episode 3

James sets up another drag race between a Bugatti Veyron and a plane, but this time ups the stakes by borrowing a Eurofighter Typhoon from the Air Force as the competitor. Rock legend Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones visits to test his driving skills.

Episode 4

This week the hosts leave the SUVs behind and use only average cars to attempt a 1,000-mile drive across Africa's Kalahari Desert. Can they survive the treacherous desert and all the dangers found there?

Episode 5

The hosts organize a race across the traffic-filled streets of central London during rush-hour. Jeremy drives the insanely fast new Caparo T1 and Simon Cowell returns to try yet another go around the track.

Episode 6

Richard and James get together some aging camper vans for Top Gear's inaugural Motorhome Grand Prix. Additional car tests this week include: the new Alfa Romeo 159, the BMW M5, the Mercedes E63 AMG, and the Honda Civic Type-R.

Episode 7

This week the hosts invest in three classic cars from the heyday of Britain's motor industry and challenge each other to a variety of competitions. Jeremy drives Aston Martin's new DBS and Jennifer Saunders tries her hand at racing.

Episode 8

Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton pays a visit to the test track. Jeremy and James go in search of the granddaddy of the modern car, and Jeremy also rides the Thunder from Down Under - Vauxhall's new Aussie VXR8.

Episode 9

Top Gear races with environmentally friendly biofuel. Jeremy pits two hot cars against each other in a race, and James travels to Hungary for a date with the newly improved and chic Fiat 500.

Episode 10

The hosts set out to find the best German V8 engine. James goes for a ride in a new Jaguar, and Richard turns a small electric car into every child's dream Christmas present. Also, Doctor Who's David Tennant takes to the test track.





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