Top Gear titles grabs

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Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

These title grabs are from one of BBC Pebble Mill’s longest running and most well known series – Top Gear. They date from the 1990s.

The series began as a monthly magazine show in 1977, and ran at Pebble Mill until 2001. It was fronted by a whole host of different presenters over the years, including Jeremy Clarkson, William Woollard, Noel Edmonds and Angela Rippon.

The colour schemes are all suitably macho, as are the design features!

Thanks to Ian Collins for sharing the stills.

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Andy Bentley: ‘Sometimes the vehicles for the program were delivered to Pebble Mill and we kept the keys in the Security office. As space on the car park was at a premium we felt duty bound to re-park them of a night. Got to drive some fab motors.’

Gregory Hallsworth: ‘Standing next to the fax machine the day after Clarkson tore into the Vauxhall Vectra was very revealing!’

Rally Report

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Copyright resides with the original holders, no reproduction without permission.

Rally Report was a BBC 2 series dating from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s, consisting of coverage of the Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain, which was held annually in the autumn. The show went out each evening, and was quick turnaround. It was presented by Top Gear’s, William Woollard, from Rally headquarters with previews, live stages and twice nightly reports. It was shot on location, edited and transmitted from site. It was often a challenging production logistically. Tony Mason, presented the Rally stage reports. Rally Report was unusual as a sports programme, not made by BBC Sport. In later years it was renamed Top Gear Rally Report, to emphasise the fact that it wasn’t made by Sport, and that a lot of the Top Gear team were involved.

The producers included Phil Franklin, Brian Strachan (until 1986) and Tony Rayner with the executive producers including Derek Smith, Dennis Adams and Tom Ross.

Top Gear – Gail Herbert’s photos

Photos copyright of Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission.

Top Gear, now known as ‘old Top Gear’, was produced at BBC Pebble Mill from 1977-2001.  It was a 30 min magazine show about cars and motor transport.  The presenters included Noel Edmunds, Angela Rippon, Jeremy Clarkson, Tiff Needell, William Woollard, Michelle Newman, Chris Goffey, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Barlow, Tony Mason and Quentin Willson.

When production of Top Gear moved to London in 2002 some of the Birmingham production team, and presenters (Vicki Butler-Henderson, Adrian Simpson, Tiff Needell) moved to Fifth Gear on Channel 5.

Thanks to Gail Herbert, who was a production assistant on Top Gear for making her photos available.  The photos date from around 1990 and include shots of presenters William Woollard and Tiff Needell, producer Ken Pollack, directors Dennis Jarvis and David Wheeler, cameraman John Williams, sound men Tony Wass and Alex Christison, and production assistants Gail Herbert and Sophie Marsh.

David Wheeler, who is featured in these photos, sitting on a donkey, makes the following comment:

 Tony Mason thought it would be amusing to do a PTC from a “4×4” for use on the sand at Weston-Super-Mere. But when I called his bluff he requested that I test drive the thoroughbred before he risked his rally-bred bottom on the beast! After some reassurance he delivered the PTC… ending: “… but I don’t think Nellie here is quite up to it, so I’ll have to find some better transport”. I seem to remember tracking from an open land rover and editing the piece to Echo Beach (Martha and the Muffins) which has a great intro and fab sax solo! Great memories.. enhanced by my trip home in the Astra 2litre, 16valve GTE… “space rocket” as I recall Gail called it!

Gail test driving a Porsche