One of the most popular TV shows in the world is coming to Canada.
The Penticton Herald is reporting that the Okanagan Film Commission confirmed that the wildly popular BBC program “Top Gear” will be filming at off-road locations in the South Okanagan in late November.
Hosts Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson will reportedly test drive Ford Hennessey VelociRaptor SUV. The VelociRaptor is an unwieldy beast made strictly for outdoor enthusiasts. The vehicle, which can go from zero to sixty miles-per-hour in 5.9 seconds despite its massive size, is limited to just 30 units per year.
“It’s a 600 horsepower, crazy thing,” said the Okanagan Film Commission’s Jon Summerland. It’s more like a Baja rally vehicle. They’re going to be testing it in all terrains and all weather types.”
Top Gear launched in 1997 and was saved from the chopping block in 2001 by Clarkson and producer Andy Wilman, who proposed the show adopt the current off-the-cuff format that employs faced paced segments and black humour. It is estimated that the show is now watched by 350-million people in 170 countries.
Top Gear has a history of filming in locations around the world, particularly for its epic long-distance races, which often feature challenges such as racing with cars purchased with a limited budget. In 2009, the show featured a race in which the hosts undertook a thousand mile journey from the Bolivian rainforest to the Pacific coast of Chile in four-wheel drives bought online for less than £4,000. In 2011, another race featured a race from Mumbai to the Chinese border employing only British-built vehicles, such as the Mini Cooper and Jaguar XJS.
Below: A Top Gear segment on the world’s most dangerous roads goes to India…