Tiff Needell TV

The latest new series of Fifth Gear has returned to our screens on Quest. Aired on Thursdays at 9pm, the new series started on 6th September and will run throughout the autumn. 

Presenter Tiff Needell revealed the welcome news back in the summer, two years after the former F1 racing driver suggested that the show was over for good.

First broadcast on Channel 5 in 2002, Fifth Gear rose from the ashes of Top Gear, which had been cancelled a year earlier. Several ex-Top Gear presenters have appeared on the show, including Tiff, Quentin Willson and Vicki Butler-Henderson. Other popular hosts include Jonny Smith and Jason Plato.

Most recently, Fifth Gear was broadcast on ITV4, but the show has also appeared on Discovery and History. Tiff put the show’s cancellation down to a lack of funding, ending a tweet with the hashtag #money.

But now it’s back – and Vicky Butler-Henderson has since confirmed that the full team is back together: herself, Tiff, Jason and Jonny. 

A huge hit

While Fifth Gear has always lived in the shadow of its more famous rival, the show’s down-to-earth and relaxed style made it a huge hit with car fans. On its return, it will face a battle for ratings, with big-budget competition from Top Gear and The Grand Tour, along with a host of cable and YouTube channels.

The high-profile status of the four presenters will help, though. Only this week, Jonny tweeted: “In the last two weeks the offers of TV work seem to have gone crackers”. Meanwhile, ‘VBH’ is part of the AutoTrader REV team, hosting car reviews alongside Erin Baker and Rachael Hogg.

Responding to a tweet, Tiff hinted that Jason Plato will be part of the team, saying: “We were both smoking tyres yesterday…”

Tiff Needell’s broadcasting career began at ATV Midlands before he joined Murray Walker for live coverage of Silverstone’s Formula Two race on BBC Grandstand in 1981. He became a regular co-commentator with Walker throughout the 80s, before joining Top Gear in 1987.

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