China is widely considered to be the world’s largest car market, so it only makes sense that it would be the next nation to get a home grown version of Top Gear. After all, aside from Top Gear UK there’s also Top Gear Australia, Top Gear U.S.A. and Top Gear Russia.
The big fear at the moment is that Top Gear’s trademark brand of risqué humour and hilarious stunts won’t make it past the nominally strict Chinese censors, resulting in a show that’s less funny and lacking it’s UK cousin’s critical edge.
Cao Yunjin, a local comedian and one of Top Gear China’s (Zui Gao Dang’s) three hosts agrees:
“The boys go crazy in the show, like pushing a Maserati over the top of a three-storey building and smashing it. It may be too much violence for a fun programme in China.”
He does, however, promise that the show will stay true to its UK roots:
“Top Gear has been successful because the way the UK hosts present it is entertaining. We will do localised fun stuff.”
The pilot episode will feature a competition between a donkey and a Cadillac to see which is better suited to millstone work (that is, turning a wheel to grind wheat or grain). Zui Gao Dang will air later this year on China’s state-owned China Central Television.