The first episode of the new Top Gear series has been filmed in front of a live audience, with a clever approach to social distancing.
Episodes are usually filmed in a large hangar at Dunsfold Aerodrome with a live studio audience, but this series will see episodes filmed on a stage on the runway. Instead of crowding around the hosts indoors, the audience watch from their own cars, similar to a drive-in cinema.
Yes, #TopGear is back, with a drive-in movie twist. This series we've gone al fresco with a socially-distanced audience and some properly cool cars. Just check out the drone footage. Cool huh? Join @PaddyMcGuinness, @flintoff11 and @harrismonkey on @BBCOne and @BBCiPlayer soon pic.twitter.com/EnuGGCbk6d
— Top Gear (@BBC_TopGear) September 10, 2020
Drone footage of the first episode shows dozens of cars lined up beneath the night sky, illuminated by lights surrounding two large screens beside the stage.
Audience members have been sharing images in response to the tweet, which show an eclectic mix of cars, from family hatchbacks to supercars, all side-by-side.
Lights🚦camera 📸 action 🎬
Brand new #TopGear, coming soon with a socially distanced twist. Yep, the audience are still here, and we’re still at Dunsfold. Just outside, hoping that for once the British weather commits to the forecast.
— Top Gear (@BBC_TopGear) September 9, 2020
Filming for the new series resumed in June, with the BBC confirming ‘strictly limited’ crews would be used. Hosts Paddy McGuiness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris return following popular acclaim for their efforts since taking over the show.
Previous efforts to find replacements for Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have faltered, with the likes of Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc proving hit and miss with fans.