BBC Top Gear magazine, the 168,000-selling monthly, is to appoint
its first consumer editor.
The move, which follows the magazine's summer relaunch, heralds changes
to the BBC's long-running motoring franchise in print and on screen.
A revamp for the 22-year-old TV programme, plus two consumer-focused
spin-off shows, are also planned for 2002.
According to publisher Adam Waddell: 'The new post is in keeping with
the shift of balance on the magazine, which is focused on consumer and
The new recruit, who BBC Worldwide hopes to appoint by January, will
report to editor Kevin Blick and will have responsibility for the Data
section of the magazine. This includes Buying, Running, Selling, a new
section featuring 'nitty-gritty' information, Waddell said.
The increased focus on car-buying is reflected in the publication of a
one-shot on 17 December, Top Gear New Car Buyers Guide. The main title,
which launched in 1993, publishes its 100th issue on 5 December.
The rest of the magazine will continue to comprise roadtests, columns,
news and lifestyle features, Waddell said.
Both of next year's spin-off TV programmes have working titles at
present and no confirmed transmission dates.
Panic Mechanics will be presented by Radio 1 DJ Trevor Nelson, while Top
Gear Car Jack is fronted by Jason Barlow and used car dealer Dominic
The main programme will feature a new format and new presenters when it
returns for a series in 2002, Waddell added. All three will be produced
from BBC Birmingham at Pebble Mill.
The magazine and TV shows are conducting joint research into car buying
experiences, to produce what the BBC said will be the biggest motoring
consumer survey by spring 2002.