Top Brass Replaces Cox At Top Gear Australia
Yep, you read that terrible headline correctly: brass man and erstwhile host of Behind The Wheel James Morrison replaces Charlie Cox when Top Gear Australia returns for its second season on Monday 11 May at 7:30.
Behind The Wheel? Apparently it was Australia’s first prime time motoring program, with Morrison hosting, and Dick Johnson, Kevin Bartlett (KB!) and Monica Trapaga reporting. It aired on Network Ten in 1995 for 18 episodes. Strangely, the producer of the show, Anthony Crawford, tried to convince the ABC to create a show like Top Gear years ago but his revs fell on deaf ears.
Morrison is not only well qualified as a motoring host but also as a hellion driver. He appeared in episode six of Top Gear Australia‘s first season as the Star In A Bog-Standard Car and topped the table of motoring mortals (though he and everyone else were whomped by pro-driver guests James Courtney and Greg Murphy).
Charlie Cox (the Jeremy Clarkson of the show) looks like he has returned to the UK, leaving Warren Brown (the James May) and Steve Pizzati (the Richard Hammond) without a belligerent, overbearing papa bear for the show. Can Australia’s most celebrated trumpeter (not to mention flugelhorn player) fill the role?
I doubt it. Morrison is a lovely fellow. Thus, his inclusion might be the step away from brazen facsimile that Top Gear Australia needs. While the first season was entertaining, it was so obviously an under-resourced copy of the UK version that it suffered from critical levels of cultural cringe. Of course, anything but an exact copy might have broken the Top Gear UK contract.
The ratings were pretty good the first time around, although they tailed off. Hopefully Top Gear Australia can break away from its father show and embrace its Australianness.
James Morrison is certainly pumped. He writes on the program’s website: “As a huge fan of the show, you couldn’t ask for better blokes to be working with – this is going to be FUN! I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet… but I think series two is going to be bigger and better than ever!”
Can we make a deal, Morrison? Let’s both keep the shithouse brass section puns to a minimum.
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