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Australian TV News

'Top Gear' not facing axe in Australia

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Jeremy Clarkson presenting Top Gear

© BBC

Aussie television bosses have insisted that Top Gear UK and Top Gear Australia are not being cancelled.

The UK version of the motoring show, starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, was rumoured to be facing the axe after allegedly being "shunted" from its prime-time slots, but the Nine Network has insisted that the reports are not true.

A spokesperson for the TV channel told The Age: "All episodes from Season 16 of Top Gear have aired. Top Gear will return to a prime-time slot some time after Easter."

The UK programme was moved to Nine from SBS in 2009. Shortly afterwards, the station launched Top Gear Australia, starring Shane Jacobson, Ewen Page and Steve Pizzati. This version reportedly debuted to audiences of 1.7 million but has recently struggled against My Kitchen Rules and Winners and Losers to get only 485,000 viewers.

Nine insisted that they are still backing the show, saying: "We can't say when exactly, but a new season of the Australian version of Top Gear will definitely air some time this year."

Jacobson, who was announced as the presenter of the Aussie series in July last year, recently revealed that he is always facing criticism because he is in the shadow of Top Gear UK. He said: "For us, it's about finding the balance."

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