The brand new series of the BBC’s Top Gear has been racing through the episodes since it returned in late June.
New hosts Paddy McGuinness and Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff have helped breathe a new lease of life into the once world-conquering motoring show that’s been on the decline since Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May left the BBC for Amazon.
Even though the hosts may have changed, the show itself remains true to its original foundations, including the celebrity guest section.
This week though (June 30th), Top Gear offered up a face not everyone will be familiar with – so, who is Zara Tindall?
Top Gear: New vs Old
The new series of Top Gear (series 27 of this current iteration if you can believe it), has been busy enticing petrol heads back to the BBC car show after several wayward years.
The final series of Clarkson and co. earned a highly respectable 6.5 million viewers yet viewing figures of the much-loved series plummeted when the original trio left.
The first series without them, headed by Radio 2’s Chris Evans, picked up just 3.9 million viewers on average and the most recent series, led by Matt LeBlanc, was watched by a measly 2.35m.
In October 2018, the BBC made the unexpected announcement that Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff would be joining the show alongside the only remnant of the Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc reboots, racing driver and car journalist, Chris Harris.
The first episode of the new series aired on June 16th, 2019, and was an instant hit with fans, even if subtitles were needed for some to understand McGuinness and Flintoff’s thick northern accents.
The return to form earned the episode an amicable 4.18 million viewers and is a clear indication that with the right hosts, the ageing format of the show can still work.
Who is Zara Tindall?
The celebrity guest sections from the previous eras of the show remain and in the hot seat, this week (June 30th) as the stars in a reasonably fast car were Zara and Mike Tindall.
Rugby fans will be well aware of Mike Tindall. As a member of the England side that won the 2003 Rugby World Cup, he’ll be immortalised in the realm of sport for decades to come.
Zara Tindall, however, you may know better as Zara Phillips and is, in fact, a member of the Royal Family.
She is the daughter of Princess Anne, which in turn makes her the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth herself.
Despite her heritage, Zara has a sporting career of her own and features in the equestrian competition known as Eventing which features several horse-riding events.
The husband and wife duo looked like a match made in heaven when they appeared on Top Gear and were full of support for each other during their respective laps of the Top Gear track with Zara setting a respectable 1:41.6 but fell behind Mike who set the faster time of 1:40.5.
Series 27 of Top Gear continues on BBC Two at 8 pm on Sunday, July 7th.