Top Gear Australia: James Morrison replaces Charlie Cox

Top Gear Australia: James Morrison replaces Charlie Cox

    * By David Knox on December 19, 2008
    * Filed Under News, Top Stories
    *

Top Gear Australia has its first casualty with the resignation of British-born host Charlie Cox.

He is to be replaced by Australian musicial James Morrison for the second season.

Cox, who co-hosted the show with Steve Pizzati and Warren Brown, says due to his media commitments and business interests in the UK he is unable to commit to a second series.

“My time on Top Gear Australia was very special and it was a fantastic opportunity to be part of launching an extraordinary series. Sadly, though, I’ve lived in the UK for the past 19 years and I’m not able to give the time I want to Series Two. It seems best to leave the show and I wish James all the best in joining the two best blokes in Australian television -Warren Brown and Steve Pizzati,” Cox said.

Cox is one of three hosts that was forced to endure fan criticism levelled at the Australian version of the British show. His hosting and delivery skills were often part of the numerous barbs from viewers unhappy with the local Top Gear.

James Morrison, who appeared as a guest in an episode already, is known as a motoring buff and has previously hosted Behind the Wheel.

SBS executive Matt Campbell said, “SBS thanks Charlie Cox for helping to launch and bed down Top Gear Australia. I understand the decision Charlie has made and accept his UK commitments wouldn’t allow him to return in 2009. We now look forward to seeing James Morrison on our screens when the series returns in 2009. James brings with him a deep love of cars, a huge personality and a strong sense of fun - a perfect complement to Warren and Steve.”

Press Release:

SBS today announced that Top Gear Australia host, Charlie Cox, has decided to leave the show because of his media commitments and business interests in the UK. He will be replaced by James Morrison - renowned Australian trumpeter and former car show host.

Cox said he arrived at the decision reluctantly but, as a director of ten British and Australian companies and as a broadcaster for the BBC for the past ten years, it became clear he couldn’t give the time to the show it required.

“My time on Top Gear Australia was very special and it was a fantastic opportunity to be part of launching an extraordinary series. Sadly, though, I’ve lived in the UK for the past 19 years and I’m not able to give the time I want to Series Two. It seems best to leave the show and I wish James all the best in joining the two best blokes in Australian television -Warren Brown and Steve Pizzati,” Cox said.

James Morrison paid tribute to the work of Charlie Cox and says he’s “thrilled” to be joining the Top Gear team.

“As a huge fan of the show, you couldn’t ask for better blokes to be working with than Warren and Steve - this is going to be FUN! I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet… but I think series two is going to be bigger and better than ever - I just hope some of the challenges include playing a chorus of the blues!”

Top Gear Australia co-host Warren Brown said:

“I’m as excited as anyone to be knocking around with James on the next series of Top Gear Australia. As everyone knows, he’s a red-hot hand behind the wheel, an unrepentant, unreconstructed and unabashed car enthusiast – but more importantly he’s a bloke with whom it’s huge fun to be around. (Aside from that, he’s far more accomplished with a trumpet than I am with a five-string banjo as Steve Pizzati will testify).

“No doubt about it – we’ll be missing Charlie, a top bloke who’s become a terrific mate, but I’d love to welcome James on board and can’t wait to work with him on Top Gear Australia II.”

Top Gear Australia co-host, Steve Pizzati said:

“It’s a shame that Charlie’s commitments overseas mean that he can’t complete the journey we all started together nearly a year ago. I’m looking forward to James joining Warren and myself, although, on top of everything else, it now means I’ll have to learn how to play a bloody musical instrument too! Perhaps the kazoo…”

SBS’s Director of Content, Television and Online, Matt Campbell said:

“SBS thanks Charlie Cox for helping to launch and bed down Top Gear Australia. I understand the decision Charlie has made and accept his UK commitments wouldn’t allow him to return in 2009. We now look forward to seeing James Morrison on our screens when the series returns in 2009. James brings with him a deep love of cars, a huge personality and a strong sense of fun - a perfect complement to Warren and Steve.”




http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2008 ... es-charlie-cox.html