The Mail Online reports that British television show Fifth Gear has been cancelled. The Channel Five program aired its sixteenth season earlier in the year and, according to the Mail report, Fifth Gear failed to rate in the channel’s top 30 programs.
However, recent tweets from one of the show’s stronger presenters, Jonny Smith, would indicate that no official announcement has been made, “Thanks to everyone for your compliments and words of encouragement. Remember, FG isn’t OFFICIALLY finished. Don’t (ever?) believe The Mail.”
Fifth Gear emerged when the original Top Gear format was cut by the BBC back in the early 2000s. Given the almost over the top production that Top Gear has become, it is not really fair to compare Fifth Gear with the best James, Jeremy and Richard can offer. Yet, the comparisons are inevitble. And, lately, Fifth Gear has fallen even further behind Top Gear.
For this viewer, Tim Shaw has signalled the death knell of the program. He is just an annoying twat, basically. Mine is not an isolated view either, so the fact he has been retained by the show’s producers for so long possibly indicates they have lost sight of what the viewer wants.
Whatever happens, what Fifth Gear did best was car reviews. In Jason Plato and Tiff Needell Fifth Gear possessed two very talented drivers who you knew were capable of wringing every last horsepower out of the cars they were testing. Even if Tiff was a bit too try hard at times. So, in a possible sign off for Fifth Gear, what better way to honour what was, generally speaking, a pretty damn good show than to enjoy Jason Plato’s review of the Ford Focus RS, which originally aired in February this year.
UPDATE: I shot off an email to Channel Five execs earlier today seeking confirmation of this report. They confirmed the rumours are true—Fifth Gear has been cancelled—and had this to say: “Five is proud of Fifth Gear’s contribution to the channel but after 16 series, feels it’s time to try something new.”