Advanced Television

North One amps up Fifth Gear Recharged for Discovery

October 13, 2021

The long-running car franchise Fifth Gear is to be transformed into the world’s first electric car magazine show. 

The popular show, produced by all3media indie North One, was launched in 2002, has run for 28 series and is sold all over the world. However, given the revolution in the car manufacturing world it was decided to make the switch for series 29.

Fan-favourite Fifth Gear hosts Jason Plato and Vicki Butler-Henderson will be joined by Rory Reid, ex-Top Gear presenter, and former Formula 1 and Formula E driver Karun Chandhok. They will be assisted by EV consumer journalist Grace Webb and engineering ace Jimmy de Ville.

Fifth Gear Recharged will launch in the UK on November 25 on discovery+, before moving on to Quest on December 2. It will be sold worldwide by all3media International and is funded by programme finance specialists Infinitum.

The new series includes all the Fifth Gear favourites, such as team tests and shoot outs. It will also look at fitting home chargers, buying a second hand EV and understanding the future of the UK’s EV charging network.

Highlights of the series will include:

  • Jason Plato getting behind the wheel of Ferrari’s fastest and most powerful road car ever (and possibly the fastest car ever seen on Fifth Gear) the hybrid SF90.

  • Karun Chandhok flying to Spain to tackle the world’s first EV hot hatch – the Cupra Born.

  • Vicki Butler-Henderson finding out how to convert a classic Porsche 911 to EV power.

  • Rory Reid taking the plunge in a Hyundai Ioniq 5and driving Scotland’s scenic NC500 – a 500-mile road route with few charging opportunities, as well as flying to Croatia to test the new Ford Mach-E GT.

  • Jimmy de Ville working as a farm hand in Scotland to be the very first man to test the new electric off-roader – the Munro EV

  • And Grace Webb testing the first-ever electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle – the Livewire.

North One CEO Neil Duncanson said: “In the last 18 months the car world has undergone the most seismic change. Our audience wants to know everything about these new electric cars, which are now being produced at an incredible rate. They also want to know about cars powered by all kinds of alternative energies and we’ll show them.”

‘It’s not a worthy polemic, it’s still going to be a high-paced, entertaining hour of fun, speed, driving skill and take-out information. Everything you need to know about the cars and how to keep them on the road.’

Simon Downing, Discovery’s SVP Marketing and Head of Factual & Docs, said: “North One’s Fifth Gear Recharged has all the fizzing energy, expertise and speed of its predecessor, but this new incarnation reflects a social and consumer transformation which is only set to accelerate.”

All3media International CEO Louise Pedersen said: “Fifth Gear has had huge success internationally and is very popular with global broadcasters. This fresh new electric iteration of the show feels timely, fresh and innovative and we are confident that our buyers will respond extremely positively.”

North One also host produces both Formula E and Extreme E, as part of a joint venture with sister company Aurora. They also scored a rating success this summer on Channel 4 with Guy Martin: World’s Fastest Electric Car.

Fifth Gear Recharged was ordered for discovery+ by Simon Downing, commissioned by Victoria Noble. Richard Pearson was an Executive Producer at North One. It is produced from North One’s Birmingham base and will be distributed worldwide.

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