UPDATE: Meet the Top Gear Australia cast (watch video)
Charlie Cox, Warren Brown and Steve Pizzati will form the Australian cast of Top Gear to air on SBS. The trio were selected after the show’s producers—including Andy Wilman, executive producer of Top Gear UK—went through an exhaustive 4000 applications. It is said the show will have an Australian flavour, although the stereotypical Australian ‘ocker’ won’t be featured. The Australian producers will model their version heavily on the extraordinarily successful UK version which stars Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
Charlie Cox, 47, is an ex-Briton with a background in motoring journalism. Forty-something Warren Brown is best known for his role as a cartoonist with The Daily Telegraph—expect him to have a sharp wit. While thirty-ish Steve Pizzati brings some genuine driving credentials to the set thanks to his experience as an advanced driving instructor and racer with Porsche Australia.
Top Gear managing director Adam Waddell praised Aussie presenters. “A show like Top Gear doesn’t resonate with a huge global audience just because people love cars,” he said. “The world’s most entertaining car show’s popularity owes much to the relationship between its three presenters. In Charlie, Warren and Steve, Top Gear Australia now has its own team—three guys who possess the spirit of Top Gear whilst having their own distinct personalities.”
On paper, at least, the ingredients are there to match the charisma of their UK counterparts and it will be the chemistry of these new best friends that will make or break the show. Top Gear UK has earned its success by bringing an hour of entertainment into people’s homes that just happens to be about motor cars. Let’s hope the Australian cast and crew can do this growing franchise justice. There is immense goodwill in the Top Gear brand and Wilman knows it will be tough to maintain that with this new series.