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Top Gear hosts confirm move to BBC One: That’s a pat on the back

The BBC said the ‘new line-up of Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris has been a hit with viewers and critics alike’.

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Top Gear hosts Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness (Lee Brimble/BBC)

Top Gear hosts Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness (Lee Brimble/BBC)

Top Gear hosts Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness (Lee Brimble/BBC)

Top Gear will switch channels to BBC One, the broadcaster has confirmed.

The BBC Two show’s possible move to the flagship channel emerged earlier this month, but was said not to have been finalised.

The BBC said the “new line-up of Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris has been a hit with viewers and critics alike”.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: “The time is right to move the world’s best motor show to the nation’s most popular channel and bring it to an even broader audience on BBC One.

“Freddie, Paddy and Chris have revitalised the hit series with their escapades and banter; and we couldn’t have asked for a better response to their series so far and the impact it’s had with young audiences.”

The show, originally resurrected with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc, will air on BBC One with its 29th series later this year.

It follows in the footsteps of Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty, which moved to BBC One.

Ralph Lee, director of content at BBC Studios Production, said “I suspect things will get bigger, better, and crazier when we arrive on BBC One.”

Harris told BBC Breakfast: “I think it’s been so successful they want to move it … to BBC One. We can view that as a pat on the back.”

And he quipped: “It’s nothing to do with me at all. It’s the eye candy that is Fred and Paddy’s genius humour.”

The debut series featuring McGuinness, Flintoff and Harris together has been snapped up around the world, including China, the US, South Africa, India, Australia and Germany, and has been a hit with young viewers.

The opening episode of their second series pulled in an audience of more than 4.3 million, according to consolidated figures.

PA Media