Top Gear’s Chris Harris lifts lid on BBC bosses ‘pitting presenters against one another’

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Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness will return for a brand new series of Top Gear on Sunday. As the motoring show moved to BBC One, presenter Chris spoke out on what goes on behind-the-scenes and revealed the competitive nature stirred up by producers that helps make the show a success.  

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Freddie and Chris opened up on what viewers can expect from the new series. 

The former England cricketer was quizzed on whether his mission to hit 200mph in a Jaguar XJ220, as seen in the trailer, was an attempt to outdo his co-stars. 

“The 200mph was amazing,” Freddie said: “That car, it was different to anything I’ve driven.

“But I think you’re always trying to do better than the other man.”

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“Because a lot of stuff is either timed and you’re doing variations and races,” he continued. 

“And there’s a bit of one-upmanship. Everybody wants to win and the rules get bent from time to time. 

The trailer released ahead of the new series shows the three presenters tackle a giant Wall of Death in old insurance write-offs. 

Freddie explained the dangerous nature of this stunt leads to the trio supporting each other rather than competing against each other. 

“There is an element of egging each other on but with things like the Wall of Death we helped each other cause it was dangerous and we all wanted each other to experience it,” he added.

Chris added: “The rhythm of the show is that the producers pit us against each other until it gets a bit too lary.

“And then they produce a film where we’re all in it together. Therefore, we have to support each other.

“But no, the snark is there when it needs to be there but when we need to support each other we do.”

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Top Gear was one of the first BBC shows to return to filming following the coronavirus lockdown. 

Speaking on its return, Chris said: “It felt like a bit of a blessing really. I didn’t realise that we were going back into production until I’d seen it in the news.

“I saw that it was us and Casualty and I had a bit of a fist pump. We’re in the same league. 

“So I was over the moon, I think we’d all had enough of being locked inside.”

“And the beauty of Top Gear is there’s so much of the filming is outdoors and on the hoof,” he shared. 

“The production guys worked out how to film within all the new guidelines and we can reconvene the studio to being outdoors.

“We’re a bit blessed that this format of show fitted the new rules better than most so it felt great to get back.”

Top Gear returns to BBC One on Sunday at 8pm

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