Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 14:40 UK

Top Gear to have spin-off in US

Top Gear's US presenters Adam Ferrara, Rutledge Wood and Tanner Foust
Ferrara, Wood and Foust will fill the shoes of Clarkson, Hammond and May

Popular BBC Two motoring show Top Gear is to be remade in the US this autumn, with a new trio of male presenters.

Comedian Adam Ferrara, racing analyst Rutledge Wood and stunt driver Tanner Foust will host the show, which will air on the History Channel.

The channel, part of the A&E network, has commissioned 10 episodes from BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm.

BBC Worldwide's Jane Tranter said the US programme would be both similar and different to its UK counterpart.

"Top Gear has been one of the BBC's most successful formats globally and we are delighted to be partnering with History on a version for the US," she said.

"Together we have worked to tailor the format for the American audience, while staying true to the original dynamic that fans across the world have come to love."

It is not known whether there will be any crossover with the UK programme, which is shown on BBC America in the US.

Top Gear hosts Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May
It is not yet known if there will be any crossover between the shows

Nor is it known whether "tame racing driver" The Stig will have any part to play in the US version.

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond have co-hosted the UK show since its 2002 relaunch.

Top Gear is BBC Two's most popular programme and was the most watched programme last year on BBC iPlayer.

A US version had been planned once before, in 2008-9, to be shown on major network NBC.

Chat show host Jay Leno had been approached to host, but said he was worried the show's would be "impossible to recreate" in America.

"I don't think you could be quite as freewheeling with your opinions as you can on the BBC, because sponsors pay for the programmes," he wrote in The Times.

"If Kia was our sponsor this week, we'd have to say the car was fantastic."

Although some segments were filmed with hosts Adam Carolla, Tanner Foust and Eric Stromer, the series never made it to air.



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