10 February 2019
Top Gear filmed in Mansfield on Sunday 10th February
BBC Top Gear's new presenting line-up of Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris were in Mansfield this morning (Sunday 10 February) filming for an episode of the hit BBC Two show.
Lancashire lads Paddy McGuinness, the primetime entertainment host and comedian, and former Ashes-winning England cricketer and TV presenter Freddie Flintoff, joined motoring journalist and racing-driver Chris Harris to investigate the pros and cons of electric cars.
The programme, which has an estimated global television audience of 350million, filmed in Mansfield Market Place before the trio and several professional drivers drove circuits around the inner ring road. Scenes were also shot inside the Four Seasons multi-storey car park.
Executive Mayor Kate Allsop was invited to wave the flag at the start and finish of the race. There was plenty of action and the smell of burning tyres as seven cars in total drove around the town centre.
Freddie slightly lost control of his vehicle and crashed into an empty market stall - nobody was hurt. This shows why the most important thing when holding a driving event like this in a town centre is ensuring people are safe, which is why this couldn't be publicised.
The Mayor said: "Mansfield District Council wants to create a destination for living, working, investing and visiting and events play a key role in putting the town on the map.
"Opportunities such as being chosen as a location for the world’s biggest motoring entertainment show put a positive spotlight on the district and this was an offer we couldn’t turn down.
"It is very appropriate that the theme was electric vehicles as we are installing electric charging points in the Four Seasons and Toothill Road car parks this spring.
"We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and hope everyone will understand why it was top secret and will agree that it was worth a few hours of mostly minor disruption to put Mansfield on TV in front of an estimated global audience of 350 million."
Cllr Dave Saunders, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: "Following the success of hosting Tour of Britain twice, and other major events like our Big Switch On, that attracts about 10,000 visitors throughout the day, this again shows what Mansfield is capable of hosting. We are a destination that welcomes a variety of events and enables visitors to see all that we have to offer in our prime location in the heart of Sherwood Forest."
Mike Robinson, Director of Economic Growth, said: "We worked with Mansfield BID and Four Seasons Shopping Centre to try to inform businesses about the road closures in advance and ensure their staff could make alternative parking arrangements.
"We enjoyed reading the many theories on the council's Facebook post about what was happening! We are sorry we couldn't say more but we were sworn to secrecy by the BBC who had concerns over safety if a large crowd had turned up to watch. Public safety is of paramount importance and there was a real risk that filming wouldn’t have gone ahead if word had got out in advance. Thank you to those who worked with us for keeping your lips sealed!"
The district council facilitated the filming along with Nottinghamshire County Council’s highways team and Via, the county council’s highways management provider. BBC Studios covered the costs directly related to hosting the event.
The new-look presenting line up recently started filming Series 27 of the BBC Two show, which will premiere later this year. The current lead host Matt Leblanc leaves the show after the next series, which will be screened from Sunday 17 February on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.
Keep your eye out for news in the coming months about when Mansfield will feature.
In the meantime you will be able to see a sneak preview of some behind-the-scenes footage and photos on our Facebook page @mymansfielduk.