Top Gear Australia 2009 makes its debut

I’ve just finished watching the first episode of Top Gear Australia for 2009.
Let me start by saying I don’t know how you international guys get access to it, but if you can – and you want to watch an hour of very decent motoring entertainment – then you should definitely get hold of it.
The 2009 season features a changed lineup from last year. The 2008 team didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Although adequate, it seemed like they were trying just a little too hard.
The main presenter, Charlie Cox, was either shoved or resigned and into the lineup came Australian jazz trumpeter extraordinaire – and big-time car buff – James Morrison.
Morrison is on the right, with 2008 holdovers Warren Brown in the middle and Steve Pizzati on the left.
When Morrison’s place in the lineup was announced, we all thought he’d be taking over the duties as main presenter. Instead, the job’s being shared pretty much amongst all of them, with 2nd fiddle from 2008 Brown taking the lion’s share.
It’s a much better balance.
This week they faced the Mitsubishi Evo10 off against the BMW 135i, raced a Lamborghini LP640 against a jetski and recreated one of our local TV ads by trying to bounce items into a hatchback using a mini-trampoline from the first floor.
The star-in-a-reasonably-priced-car (or bog-standard car as they call it) was former V8 Supercar champion, Mark Skaife, and the look on his face when he thought he’d failed to top the leaderboard was priceless.
The chemisty seems a lot more natural; Wozza’s stepped up quite nicely and even Pizzati seems more comfortable in front of the camera.
Morisson has had his own car show in the past, and was suitably relaxed.
All in all, it was an excellent debut for the new crew and I’m looking forward to future episodes.