Top Gear’s new socially-distant ‘drive-in’ format sees 500 fans watch the action from their cars

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Shots from the set of Top Gear have shown the impressive-looking new format, amid social distancing regulations due to COVID-19.

The BBC have released images taken on one of the shoot days, with hosts Chris Harris, Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff stood on stage, two metres apart, with a 500-strong audience watching from their socially-distanced parked cars.

The episode was filmed at the show’s race track in Dunsfold, Surrey, after the hosts were forced to leave the studio hangar because of the pandemic.

Shots from the set of Top Gear have shown the impressive-looking new format, amid social distancing regulations due to COVID-19

Shots from the set of Top Gear have shown the impressive-looking new format, amid social distancing regulations due to COVID-19

According to The Sun, production are filming five episodes over three nights and are considering keeping the format and making it an annual occasion.

160 cars were welcomed on site and the show featured segments such as a Wall Of Death sequence at Alexandra Palace and Freddie trying to drive to 200mph in a 1990s supercar.

It also features Paddy’s Lamborghini incident in the Yorkshire Dales.

The motoring show has become the first major entertainment series to return to TV with a live audience after the show was recorded using the ‘drive-in’ format.

Host Paddy called it: ‘A ‘Covid-compliant, socially distanced, classic drive-in show’.

According to The Guardian, the show adhered to safety measures including temperature checks and parking positions two metres apart.

The BBC have released images taken on one of the shoot days, with hosts Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris stood on stage, two metres apart

The BBC have released images taken on one of the shoot days, with hosts Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris stood on stage, two metres apart

A 500-strong audience is pictured watching from their socially-distanced parked cars

A 500-strong audience is pictured watching from their socially-distanced parked cars

Wow: The episode was filmed at the show's race track in Dunsfold, Surrey, after the hosts were forced to leave the studio hangar because of the pandemic

Wow: The episode was filmed at the show’s race track in Dunsfold, Surrey, after the hosts were forced to leave the studio hangar because of the pandemic

Back in action: Top Gear has become the first major entertainment series to return to TV with a live audience

Back in action: Top Gear has become the first major entertainment series to return to TV with a live audience

A marquee was set up for members of the production team who were partitioned into individual areas with plastic. 

The publication reports that Paddy and fellow presenters Freddie and Chris have been regularly tested for the virus and have been served food in resealable bags.

Chris described the show’s new look as a mixture between a low-rent rock festival meets a drive-in cinema from the 1960s.

He said the Top Gear team were ‘blessed we’ve got the chance to do something with a live audience. The producers have come up with some really clever solutions to the problems.’

Event: The programme was taped in front of 500 fans who were all in their cars with presenter Paddy McGuinness calling it a 'Covid-compliant, socially distanced, classic drive-in show'

Event: The programme was taped in front of 500 fans who were all in their cars with presenter Paddy McGuinness calling it a ‘Covid-compliant, socially distanced, classic drive-in show’

Paddy said: ‘If coronavirus wasn’t a thing and the producers suggested filming it outside I’d be thinking that’s not a very good idea. 

‘But I think because people have been kind of cooped up at home they will be excited to be out and at a show surrounded by other people.’

It reportedly took around 150 people three days to create the drive-in and the BBC are so pleased with it, they are considering making it an annual event. 

Top Gear resumed filming following the coronavirus pandemic in June when the presenters emerged from lockdown to reunite at Alton Towers Resort theme park in Staffordshire. 

Distancing: The show was filmed at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey and the audience adhered to safety measures including temperature checks and parking positions were two metres apart

Distancing: The show was filmed at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey and the audience adhered to safety measures including temperature checks and parking positions were two metres apart

While the park may have been closed to customers, Paddy, Chris and Freddie made the most of the empty resort and filmed an electric car race.

It was reported during the summer that Top Gear will use ‘strictly limited’ crews and adhere to government guidelines when it resumes filming, according to the BBC’s Charlotte Moore. 

Ms Moore wrote in The Telegraph: ‘We will work within Government guidelines. Crews will be strictly limited. Cast members will do their own hair and make-up. Social distancing will be in place.’ 

It's back! Top Gear resumed filming in June after the coronavirus pandemic halted the latest series of the hit BBC car show

It’s back! Top Gear resumed filming in June after the coronavirus pandemic halted the latest series of the hit BBC car show

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