Fifth Gear

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Fifth Gear
FifthGear.jpg
The Fifth Gear logo (since 2005)
GenreMotoring
Directed byPhil Hawkins
Mark McQueen
Presented byTiff Needell
Vicki Butler-Henderson
Jason Plato
Jonny Smith
Opening themePrize Fight by
John F Calone
Composer(s)David Lowe
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series23
No. of episodes222 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Richard Pearson
Producer(s)Jim McMullan
Editor(s)Mike Bloore
Mike Brown
Martin Dowell
James Hay
Steve Killick
Leigh Nicholls
Tony Quinsee-Jover
Peter Shannon
Location(s)Ace Cafe (Series 10–13)
Millbrook Proving Ground (Series 14–16)
Various locations (since Series 17)
Running time30 minutes
(Series 1-7, 17-20)
45 minutes
(Series 8)
60 minutes
(Series 9-16, 21-)
Production company(s)North One
DistributorAll3Media
Broadcast
Original channelChannel 5 (2002–2011)
Discovery (since 2012)
Picture format16:9
Original run8 April 2002 – present
External links
Website
 
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Fifth Gear
FifthGear.jpg
The Fifth Gear logo (since 2005)
GenreMotoring
Directed byPhil Hawkins
Mark McQueen
Presented byTiff Needell
Vicki Butler-Henderson
Jason Plato
Jonny Smith
Opening themePrize Fight by
John F Calone
Composer(s)David Lowe
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series23
No. of episodes222 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Richard Pearson
Producer(s)Jim McMullan
Editor(s)Mike Bloore
Mike Brown
Martin Dowell
James Hay
Steve Killick
Leigh Nicholls
Tony Quinsee-Jover
Peter Shannon
Location(s)Ace Cafe (Series 10–13)
Millbrook Proving Ground (Series 14–16)
Various locations (since Series 17)
Running time30 minutes
(Series 1-7, 17-20)
45 minutes
(Series 8)
60 minutes
(Series 9-16, 21-)
Production company(s)North One
DistributorAll3Media
Broadcast
Original channelChannel 5 (2002–2011)
Discovery (since 2012)
Picture format16:9
Original run8 April 2002 – present
External links
Website

Fifth Gear is a British motoring television magazine series. Originally shown on Channel 5 from 2002 to 2011 and Discovery since 2012, the show is currently presented by Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith. Fifth Gear's rival show is BBC Two's Top Gear.

Fifth Gear was first broadcast on 8 April 2002 as 5th Gear, and as a continuation of the original incarnation of the BBC show Top Gear, which was cancelled in 2001. Top Gear was relaunched later that year; Channel 5 originally wanted to carry on using the Top Gear name, but the BBC refused. Several of Top Gear's ex-presenters, including Quentin Willson, Tiff Needell, and Vicki Butler-Henderson were hired by Channel 5 to present the series.[1][2] The show was renamed as Fifth Gear in 2005.

Repeats of Fifth Gear also started being broadcast on UKTV channel, Dave in April 2008 and later on Discovery Turbo.

Show format[edit]

The first seven series consisted of a 23 minute programme, not including approximately 7 minutes of adverts.[3] The eighth series returned in the autumn of 2005 in a longer format of 45 minutes, and the ninth series (which went to a 13-week run) was increased to a one hour airtime slot (approximately 46 minutes excluding adverts). For series 17, the show has reverted to the original format of 23 minutes, which including adverts, takes the show to half an hour. In Series 21, the show reverted to the previous one hour airtime slot.

Locations[edit]

At the start of series 10, the show introduced between-feature links filmed at the Ace Cafe in London. In previous series, these links were filmed at the production company offices in Birmingham. Originally produced by Chrysalis Television, the Birmingham offices were situated on the top floor of the headquarters of 100.7 Heart FM (also, at that time, a Chrysalis Radio company), near Birmingham's Five Ways area. The team moved out when Chrysalis sold their Television Division to All3Media in September 2003 (the section which currently produces Fifth Gear is now known as North One Television, part of the All3Media group).

In series 14, a location change from the Ace Cafe meant link sequences were filmed instead at the Millbrook Proving Ground, along with some of the vehicle testing features.

Presenter line-up[edit]

Short-lived former presenters

In 2005, the show's producer, Jon Bentley, also became a part-time presenter. Bentley later stopped being a presenter and went back to being the producer. Tim Lovejoy was hired in September 2006 for series 10. In August 2008, Tim Shaw became a presenter on the show for series 14. In October 2010, Ben Collins, formerly The Stig on BBC's Top Gear, came to Fifth Gear for series 18.[4]

International airings[edit]

Fifth Gear has also been broadcast on the Speed Channel in the USA for a short period in 2004 to early 2007. It began airing on Velocity on Wednesdays after Wheeler Dealers as of October 3, 2012.

Fifth Gear began broadcasting in Australia in November 2009, on Seven Network's free-to-air digital channel 7mate (previously shown on 7Two).

Fifth Gear started Canadian broadcast on Discovery Channel Canada in 2008, began with 2006 series. This version ran in half-hour format.

2009 cancellation and return[edit]

On 18 October 2009, the Mail Online reported that the show had been cancelled.[5] Up to then there had been no official announcement or confirmation. Although, Channel 5 executives had been quoted as saying, "Five is proud of Fifth Gear's contribution to the channel but after 16 series, feels it's time to try something new."[6]

On 27 November 2009, Jeremy Clarkson mentioned on The Chris Moyles Show that it was a shame that Fifth Gear had been cancelled.

In late December 2009, however, presenter Jonny Smith suggested via Twitter that the show could return for another series early in 2010.[7] On 8 January 2010, Smith tweeted: "Fifth Gear IS coming back!", and in his next tweet, he said "Wow, such quick responses! Basically, we all know there's room for 2 car TV shows. FG will simply be a reviews based visual car magazine." Tiff Needell also tweeted saying "Home to the news that, after much negotiating Fifth Gear looks like it will after all be returning to your screens sometime in the Spring!" and also hinted the show will have a new format in his next tweet "Glad so many of you are delighted by the Fifth Gear news — and, yes the format will be moving away from the stupid ... but still having fun!".[8]

On 17 January 2010, Vicki Butler-Henderson and Tiff Needell confirmed at the Autosport International Show that Fifth Gear will be returning in Spring 2010. The pair featured a car shootout in Fifth Gear style in the live arena show and said several times to the audience that the show would be back on air in Spring and to ignore the cancellation rumours.[9]

The series started on 3 June 2010. The series ran for 10 episodes and the first one had Lewis Hamilton as a guest. On 1 October 2010, it was announced that Ben Collins (who played the original White Stig on Top Gear) would join the show as 'The Stag', a race car driver wearing a reindeer suit with antlers.[4]

Episodes[edit]

Accidents[edit]

During Series 12, Episode 7,[10] two accidents took place while on set.

Both accidents happened on the same day of recording.

The Fifth Gear Awards[edit]

Each year, the programme gives out various awards:

2004[edit]

2005[edit]

2006[edit]

2007[edit]

Shoot-outs[edit]

Fifth Gear claims to be 'world renowned' for their 'infamous' shoot-outs, between similarly priced, similarly powerful cars, or, recently, cars versus bikes. These shoot outs take place at the Anglesey Circuit on the Isle of Anglesey close to Aberffraw. During the refurbishment of Anglesey, shoot-outs were switched to Castle Combe Circuit.

2002 (Series 1 and 2)[edit]

2003 (Series 3 and 4)[edit]

2004 (Series 5 and 6)[edit]

2005 (Series 7 and 8)[edit]

2006 (Series 9 and 10)[edit]

2007 (Series 11)[edit]

2007 (Series 12)[edit]

2008 (Series 13)[edit]

2009 (Series 14)[edit]

2010 (Series 17)[edit]

2010 (Series 18)[edit]

2011 (Series 19)[edit]

2011 (Series 20)[edit]

2012 (Series 21)[edit]

2013 (Series 22)[edit]

2013 (Series 23)[edit]

Team Test[edit]

In Series 19, a new segment was introduced, called the Team Test. This is where Tiff, Jason, Jonny and Vicki all do a group test on an important new car. They all score the car out of 10, and add it together to get the score for the car.

Leaderboard[edit]

Series 19

Series 20 (without Jason Plato)

Series 21

Series 22

Series 23

Ranking /40[edit]

Ranking /30[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Timms, Dominic (15 November 2001). "Top Gear drives over to C5". Broadcast (Emap Media). 
  2. ^ "Top Gear team switch lanes". BBC News Online. 15 November 2001. 
  3. ^ Gallagher, William (9 April 2002). "Top Gear finds a new home". BBC News Online. 
  4. ^ a b Sweney, Mark (10-01-2010). "'The Stig' joins Channel 5's Fifth Gear". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Goslett, Miles (18 October 2009). "Vicki's career stalls as Five's Fifth Gear is driven off television". Mail Online (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 7 January 2010. "Fifth Gear host Vicki Butler-Henderson has been forced into the pits, with TV bosses confirming the show [Fifth Gear] has been axed." 
  6. ^ AUSmotive.com "Fifth Gear cancelled — CONFIRMED". AUSmotive.com. 19 October 2009. 
  7. ^ "Fifth Gear looks set for 2010 comeback". AUSmotive.com. 29 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "Breaking news: Fifth Gear is coming back". AUSmotive.com. 8 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "Fifth Gear: Web TV — Behind the Scenes at Autosport International". youtube.com/fifthgear. 26 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Fifth Gear: Behind the scenes Accessed 28 May 2008
  11. ^ Fifth Gear star Tom Ford hurt in crash Autotrader.co.uk News — Accessed 10 October 2007
  12. ^ Plato injured as Caparo T1 bursts into flames Crash.net News — Accessed 10 October 2007

External links[edit]