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The nineteenth series of Top Gear was aired during 2013 on BBC Two and BBC HD, beginning on 27 January and concluding on 24 February.[1] It was subsequently followed by a two part special entitled "Africa Special", the first part airing on 3 March 2013, and the second airing a week later on 10 March.

Top Gear (series 19)
Top Gear Series 19 Promo 2013.jpg
Promotional poster
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes7
Original networkBBC Two
Original release27 January (2013-01-27) –
10 March 2013 (2013-03-10)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 18
Next →
Series 20
List of Top Gear episodes



No. in
ReviewsFeatures/challengesGuest(s)Original air dateUK viewers
(millions) [2]
1471Pagani HuayraBentley Continental GT SpeedTake the Bentley Continental GT Speed to a Welsh Rally stage. • Build a car smaller than a Peel P50 (Clarkson's "P45")Damian LewisKris Meeke • The Cast of Dragons' Den (Theo PaphitisDuncan BannatynePeter JonesDeborah Meaden)27 January 2013 (2013-01-27)6.65[nb 1]
Hammond tests out the latest supercar from Italy, the Pagani Huayra, at the Track, while May takes to a Welsh stage of the World Rally Championship with the new Bentley Continental GT Speed, to see if it can be faster than one of the WRC cars (with the help of Kris Meeke behind the wheel). Elsewhere, Clarkson builds a smaller car than the Peel P50, the P45, and sees how good it is before putting before the 'Dragon' of Dragons' Den, and Damian Lewis takes his turn in the Kia Cee'd, around a snowy test track.
1482NoneSupercar road trip from Las Vegas, Nevada to Calexico, California: (Lexus LFASRT ViperAston Martin Vanquish)Mick Fleetwood3 February 2013 (2013-02-03)6.42[nb 2]
The trio head out for a road trip across Nevada and California, each taking with them a supercar they think is the best - Clarkson believes it is the Lexus LFA, May roots for the new Aston Martin Vanquish, and Hammond seeks to show it is the SRT Viper. Starting from the Valley of Fire, the trio visit Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to race their cars in drag races organised by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, visit the Civic Musical Road, play an aerial version of Laser Quest at the Willow Springs International Motorsports Park, and head for Los Angeles where they get into trouble while doing "elevens" and "donuts" at the Sepulveda Dam. The trio conclude their trip with a race from Palm Springs to Calexico at the Mexican border, with the last presenter to arrive having to cross the border and review the country's first supercar for a later episode. Elsewhere Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac is the latest star to drive the Kia around the track.
1493Toyota GT86 / Subaru BRZShelby Mustang GT500Epic race from Wembley to the San Siro stadium in Milan: Shelby Mustang GT500 vs. the pan-European rail networkAmy Macdonald10 February 2013 (2013-02-10)6.36[nb 3]

The producers have reserved a single ticket to a football match in Milan, Northern Italy, so the trio see who get it first by racing from the Wembley Stadium in London to the San Siro in Milan, although this time, the car may have a real challenge, since trains have gotten faster and Channel crossing have gotten slower since their last epic race. While Hammond and May opt to work together until Milan and then compete against each other towards the finish line, Clarkson, who is told he must not choose an expensive, high performance car for the race, sees if he can beat them in the Shelby Mustang GT500, a car named after Carroll Shelby, who was able to see the new Mustang before his death. Meanwhile, at the Track, Clarkson tests out how good a sports car the Toyota GT86 is, and Amy Macdonald drives the Kia Cee'd around the test track.

Note: During the 'Epic Race to Milan' film, Clarkson paid tribute to Shelby, who died the previous year, with a small segment that detailed his early life and his involvement with the AC Cobra and the Mustang line for Ford, including the GT500.
1504Mastretta MXTKia Cee'd • Hot hatchbacks: (Ford Focus STRenault Megane RenaultSport Cup 265Vauxhall Astra VXR)Rugby match with Kia Cee'ds at TwickenhamLewis HamiltonMatt LeBlancEric ClaptonBruce Willis & Awards 201217 February 2013 (2013-02-17)5.39[nb 4]
A trio of hot hatches hit the track with Clarkson seeing which is best - the Vauxhall Astra VXR, the Ford Focus ST and the Renault Megane RenaultSport Cup 265 Meanwhile, the presenter who got sent to Mexico (Hammond) reviews the country's first sports car, the Mastretta MXT, Clarkson tests out the new Kia Cee'd in a variety of tests before competing against May in a game of "Car Rugby" at Twickenham Stadium, and Lewis Hamilton is back to see if he can be faster in the old Liana.
1515Range RoverDesign a vehicle for the elderly ("Rover James"/Fiat Multipla) • Range Rover vs an autonomous military machineJames McAvoy24 February 2013 (2013-02-24)6.45[nb 5]

Clarkson and Hammond believe that elderly people would be better on the road if they had a car designed especially for them, so the pair make one out of a Fiat Multipla with many things that an elderly driver will like, before testing how well their creation fares by taking it to Christchurch, Dorset, and borrowing a few elderly ladies to tell them what they think. Meanwhile, May tests out the new Range Rover in London, before heading to the Nevada Automotive Test Centre in Nevada, to see how good it is off-road in a 10 miles (16 kilometres) race against a autonomous military machine, the TerraMax, and James McAvoy drives around the track as the latest star in the Kia Cee'd.

Note: The trio gave their thanks and respect for Richard Briers in the studio before the episode ended, who provided his voice for the Sat-Nav system of Clarkson and Hammond's creation in the 'Making a Car for Elderly People' film. He died a week before the episode's broadcast.
152N/A – Africa Special: Part 1Find source of the Nile: (BMW 528i TouringSubaru Impreza WRX EstateVolvo 850R Estate)None3 March 2013 (2013-03-03)7.33[nb 6]
In a two-part special, the boys head to Africa to see if they can find the source of the River Nile, each taking with them a second-hand estate cars they bought in the UK on a budget of £1,500 - Clarkson believe he can find the source with the help of his BMW 528i Touring, Hammond sees if he can find it in the sporty Subaru Impreza WRX Estate he brought along, and May wisely shows he will discover it from his Volvo 850R Estate. On an epic journey around Lake Victoria, which Victorian Explorers thought was the source of the Nile, the first part sees the trio setting off west from their starting point in Uganda towards Lake Edward, visiting Entebbe Airport, getting stuck in heavy traffic in Uganda's capital of Kampala, explore the village of Jezza in the Mpigi District, convert their cars into mobile campers, before reaching the lake and seeing if they can find a river flowing into it from Lake Kivu. When their initial theory on the source is broken after their search around Edward, the trio soon have another and begin heading towards Tanzania and the Serengeti.
153N/A – Africa Special: Part 2Find source of the Nile: (BMW 528i TouringSubaru Impreza WRX EstateVolvo 850R Estate)None10 March 2013 (2013-03-10)7.48[nb 7]

The trio continue on their search for the source of the River Nile, heading for Tanzania after their initial theory about it being somewhere around Lake Kivu could not be proved based on physical evidence. Now believing that the Nile's mouth is not at Alexandria but where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, and that the source must be somewhere east of Lake Victoria, the trio are en route for the Serengeti where they believe the source will be found. In the second part, the presenters brave their way over muddy tracks and rough dirt roads, repairing their cars broken or missing parts with "procured" replacements, while heading towards Tanzania, via Rwanda. Along the way they enjoy stunning scenery, create a ferry to get across a river, cross Lake Victoria with a proper ferry, and begin making their way through the Serengeti, following a river that will lead them to the source, and encountering one more obstacle in the form of a "car-killing" road. Finally, upon making camp for the last time, the trio opt to see who will be remembered and who will be forgotten, by racing against each to see who can find the source of the Nile.

Note: For the end credits of the second part, each crew member's first name is replaced with "Dr.", with their surname followed by ", I Presume?" (e.g. "Dr. Clarkson, I Presume?", "Dr. Hammond, I presume?", etc.)

Criticism and ControversyEdit

Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ Reviews filmEdit

During his reviews of the Toyota GT86 and the Subaru BRZ, Jeremy Clarkson attempted to see which one he would pick through the use of the eeny meeny miny moe rhyme. Following accusations of racism made against Clarkson for use of "Slope" comment in the Burma Special, British newspaper The Daily Mirror revealed video evidence that in his use of the rhyme with the GT86 and BRZ, he was noted as mumbling the word "nigger", which was historically a part of the rhyme's earlier versions; in the aired version of the review, the word "teacher" was used instead of the racial epithet of the unaired version that surfaced. While Clarkson denied the incident at first, he eventually issued an apology following the evidence's appearance. In his apology, he stated that he was "extremely keen" to avoid using the word, and that he had to do three takes with the film, adding that he was "mortified" that he appeared to actually mumble the word and that he did everything he could to avoid it being transmitted on the show. He further proved this was the case with a note he sent to the production office, which read:[3]

"I didn't use the N-word here but I've just listened through my headphones and it sounds like I did. Is there another take that we could use?",

This incident was one of two reasons that led to the BBC ultimately giving Clarkson a "final warning" in regards to the corporation's views on racist remarks.[4]


The viewing figures shown in the Episode Table above, are a combination of the figures from the BBC Two broadcast and the BBC HD broadcast.

  1. ^ 5.47 million on BBC Two, 1.18 million on BBC HD
  2. ^ 5.02 million on BBC Two, 1.4 million on BBC HD.
  3. ^ 5.01 million on BBC Two, 1.35 million on BBC HD.
  4. ^ 3.92 million on BBC Two, 1.39 million on BBC HD.
  5. ^ 5.00 million on BBC Two, 1.45 million on BBC HD.
  6. ^ 5.85 million on BBC Two, 1.48 million on BBC HD.
  7. ^ 5.89 million on BBC Two, 1.59 million on BBC HD.


  1. ^ Vincent, Alice (27 January 2013). "Top Gear Series 19, Episode 1, review". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
  3. ^ Watt, Nicholas; Rawlinson, Kevin; Halliday, Josh (1 May 2014). "Jeremy Clarkson 'begs forgiveness' over N-word footage". the Guardian.
  4. ^ Collins, David (1 May 2014). "Video: Watch Jeremy Clarkson use n-word in unseen Top Gear footage".

External linksEdit