Earlier in September, it was revealed that the BBC had finally added all of the UK version of Top Gear to iPlayer, in the original broadcast format. The first five series of the ever popular motoring show have been long unavailable due to issues with the content in them. We contacted the UK DVD Enquiry Line back in 2018 and they said the following:
We have investigated the possibility of releasing the first five series but alas they contain content which is un-cleared for the DVD/DTO exploitation. So we were unable to proceed with our release.
UK DVD Enquiry Line
As @denialvibes on Twitter pointed out, Series 1 (as well as Series 2, 3, 4 and 5) are now available to view on iPlayer, it is unclear what has changed to make the BBC happy to release them, but they are up now and are only going to be there for one year.
For a long time, Series 6 onwards have been available to purchase on various platforms, such as iTunes but with some earlier series having had segments cut out, such as the news section. However, it seems the version uploaded to iPlayer is as it was intended – from the original broadcast.
If you’re a nerdy Top Gear fan like me, you’ll be pleased to learn that the BBC have made series 1 available on catch-up. Currently enjoying the first ever episode, featuring a babyfaced @RichardHammond, an amusingly hirsute @JeremyClarkson, and Jason Dawe who isn’t @MrJamesMay pic.twitter.com/Tx4IMapSbG
— 𝔻𝕒𝕟𝕚𝕖𝕝 𝔹𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕤 (@denialvibes) September 14, 2021
Top Gear UK started in 2002 with Jeremy Clarkson, Jason Dawe and Richard Hammond. In 2003 with series 3, James May replaced Dawe and it ran that way up until 2015 when Clarkson, May and Hammond all left due to a fracas between Clarkson and a producer of the show.
Since then, the show has gone through a few rocky patches, with various presenters but is now headed up by comedian Paddy McGuiness, ex-cricketer Freddie Flintoff and racing driver Chris Harris. Series 31 of the show is poised for release in November 2021.