Top Gear hosts confirm move to BBC One: That’s a pat on the back

Top Gear will switch channels to BBC One, the broadcaster has confirmed.

The BBC Two show's possible move to the flagship channel emerged earlier this month, but was said not to have been finalised.

The BBC said the "new line-up of Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris has been a hit with viewers and critics alike".

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: "The time is right to move the world's best motor show to the nation's most popular channel and bring it to an even broader audience on BBC One.

"Freddie, Paddy and Chris have revitalised the hit series with their escapades and banter; and we couldn't have asked for a better response to their series so far and the impact it's had with young audiences."

The show, originally resurrected with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc, will air on BBC One with its 29th series later this year.

Top Gear presenters through the years
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Top Gear presenters through the years
Top Gear presenters
Photo by: KGC-143/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 2/19/18 Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, Rory Reid, The Stig and Aurora Mulligan at the Top Gear preview launch of series 25 in London, England.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Left to right) Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris with a Porsche 911 GT2 RS and an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera at Billingsgate Market, London as they are revealed as BBC Top Gear's new presenting line-up, taking over the helm from Matt LeBlanc whose final series will air in early 2019 on BBC Two.
Top Gear America, with William Fichtner, Tom Ford and Antron Brown - Marche international des contenus audiovisuels du 16-19 Octobre 2017, Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France. Exhibition MIPCOM (International Market of Communications Programmes) at Palais des Festivals et des Congres, Cannes (Photo by Lionel Urman/Sipa USA)
Top Gear presenter Chris Evans arrives at a press conference during the launch of the car show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, as it returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm.
Top Gear presenters (left to right) Chris Harris, Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Eddie Jordan and Chris Evans arrive for a press conference during the launch of the car show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, as it returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm.
Top Gear presenter Eddie Jordan answers media questions during the launch of the car show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, which returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm.
(Left to right) Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May during Clarkson, Hammond and May Live, the first of three days at The O2 for the former Top Gear team.
File photo dated 26/1/2011 of Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond (left) and James May who selling twelve motorcycles.
Jeremy Clarkson leaves his home in London, as he laughed off his latest controversy telling reporters he was "just off to the job centre" after the BBC suspended him following a row with a Top Gear producer.
EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY MARCH 11 Pint-sized versions of TVÕs famous Top Gear presenters, Little Clarkson (centre) - Luc Hutter, 11 years old, Little Hammond (right) - Oliver Cater, 10 years old, Little May (lack left ) - Mackenzie Batey-Gray, 11 years old, watch the Little The Stig (driivng), conduct a special test drive at the LEGOLAND¨ Windsor Resort in Berkshire, this week as the Resort reopens its world famous LEGO¨ City Driving School for the 2015 season.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY A 9-metre high statue of the Stig which has been created by BBC Worldwide, departs the Top Gear track in Dunsfold, Surrey, for Warsaw in Poland, where it will be erected to mark the launch of new global channel BBC Brit.
Undated file photos of The Stig (left) and Ben Collins. The High Court today refused to grant a temporary injunction preventing the revelation of the identity of Top Gear's The Stig.
Motor Sport - Rockingham Speedway Opening - 26/5/01 BBC's Top Gear presenter Tiff Nedell before driving in the opening round of the ASCAR Championship Mandatory Credit - Action Images / David Slater
The BBC Top Gear presenter Tiff Needel races down the hill in the Soapbox Challenge at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The three day Festival at Goodwood near Chichester, West Sussex is a carnival for motor mad fans to get close to famous and classic cars. * ... just one week before the British Grand-prix at Silverstone. (Photo by Chris Ison - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON - JANUARY 22: TV presenter Quentin Wilson arrives at the '2004 TV Moments Awards Ceremony' at BBC Television Centre on January 22, 2005 in London. The awards celebrate the best and worst moments of the past televisual year. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)
Tony Mason (former rally co-driver and former BBC Top Gear presenter) at The Royal Automobile Club (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sir Stirling Moss and his wife Lady Moss with Tony Mason (former rally co-driver and Top gear presenter) (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)
Angela Rippon steps back to yesteryear for 'Top Gear', the first of a series of 10 programmes to interest all road users which is broadcast on BBC TV on Thursday, July 13th. *PNR
Noel Edmonds, the television personality and host of BBC's Noels House Party. Circa, 1990. (Photo by Bryn Colton/Getty Images)
TV Presenter Julia Bradbury, guest speaker at the Sandringham Women's Institute, arrives at West Newton Church Hall, near Sandringham, Norfolk before the visit of Queen Elizabeth II.
Perry Mccarthy, Louise Goodman, Damon Hill, Deborah Meaden, James Martin, Phil Spencer, Vicky Butler-Henderson, Mark Blundel, Derick Warrick, Nick Mason, Luther Biisset, Amir Khan, Paul Sackey And Austin Healey Attend 'The Circuit' A Charity Based Race By Nspcc At The Bedford Autodrom. (Photo by John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images)

It follows in the footsteps of Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty, which moved to BBC One.

Ralph Lee, director of content at BBC Studios Production, said "I suspect things will get bigger, better, and crazier when we arrive on BBC One."

Harris told BBC Breakfast: "I think it's been so successful they want to move it ... to BBC One. We can view that as a pat on the back."

And he quipped: "It's nothing to do with me at all. It's the eye candy that is Fred and Paddy's genius humour."

The debut series featuring McGuinness, Flintoff and Harris together has been snapped up around the world, including China, the US, South Africa, India, Australia and Germany, and has been a hit with young viewers.

The opening episode of their second series pulled in an audience of more than 4.3 million, according to consolidated figures.

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