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BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ format races to Italy

MUMBAI: Motoring show ‘Top Gear’ is continuing to make inroads around the world. BBC Worldwide announces that Italy is the latest country to license the format, home to some of the world’s most iconic cars from Ferrari to Lamborghini.

Produced by Toro Media (a Sony Picture Television Company) for SKY Italia, Top Gear Italia will air in 2016 on Sky Uno, the pay TV platform’s entertainment channel owned by Sky plc.

Guido Meda, a motoring journalist, has been named as one of the presenters along with Joe Bastianich, who is well known as a restaurant entrepreneur, TV personality and vintage car collector. The two motoring enthusiasts who are passionate about anything on wheels will be joined by a third presenter who is still to be confirmed.

BBC Worldwide executive VP Western Europe Tobi de Graaff said, “We know that ‘Top Gear’ already has a strong and established presence in Italy with the original UK series and the magazine proving hugely popular. Adding a local version to the mix in a country steeped in motoring history will be fantastic for Italian audiences.”

Sky Italia executive VP Andrea Scrosati said, “We are thrilled with this new collaboration with BBC Worldwide that brings to Sky Uno a fantastic show such as Top Gear. This format is the latest addition to Sky Uno’s unique lineup that includes the very best performing international formats. Top Gear brings together great entertainment with passion and competence for cars and speed, a perfect mix for our subs, that I am confident will be even more successful thanks to the talent of Joe and Guido.”

Italy is the second biggest market in Western Europe to launch a local version of Top Gear following the hugely successful Top Gear France which gave French broadcaster RMC their biggest ever audience when the series debuted earlier this year.

‘Top Gear’ is one of BBC Worldwide’s flagship brands; the BBC’s UK version has been licensed to over 230 territories globally. The format has previously been sold to Australia, China, Russia, South Korea, US and France. This latest deal for ‘Top Gear’ continues a successful year of formats business for BBC Worldwide.