Top Gear – BBC2

Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff add some v-v-vroom to the motoring show as Top Gear returns

The Chris Evans/Matt LeBlanc reboot of Top Gear lacked the easy chemistry that sparked between veterans Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

But with the addition of likeable TV presenter and comic Paddy McGuinness and laddish ex-cricketer Freddie Flintoff to the team, it looks as though the motoring magazine has got its mojo back.

The new boys’ first adventure, alongside series regular Chris Harris, sees them get reacquainted with the first cars they bought – a Ford Escort for Paddy and a Porsche Boxster in Freddie’s case – on a road trip to ‘the hottest year-round place on Earth’, Ethiopia.

Paddy, Freddie and Chris

Ready… set… Paddy, Freddie and Chris

“I’m not very well-travelled, as you’ll see throughout the series,” Paddy told TV Times.

“So for me it’s been a voyage of discovery. I love cars, and Fred’s the same, but we’ve not got the same knowledge of cars as Chris.”

But, as Paddy says, “You can get too bogged down in the techy stuff. This is about
sitting down with your friends and family on a Sunday night, and having a laugh.”

TV Times rating: ****