*** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE *** Top Gear presenters, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, with The Stig at the Top Gear Series 28 premiere in Leicester Square. Top Gear returns this Sunday, 26th January, 8pm, BBC Two. Photo credit: Joe Pepler/PinPep.

BBC Studios and BBC Two lifted the bonnet on the new series of Top Gear Monday evening with a big screen premiere of the opening episode at the Odeon Leicester Square in front of 800 fans that culminated in a 500ft car bungee jump off a Swiss dam with presenter Freddie Flintoff strapped inside.

Presenters Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris arrived at the event in Leicester Square driving the new, never before seen on public roads, Aston Martin DBX – and the Bentley Continental GT. They were joined by Top Gear’s mystery racing driver The Stig and show regular, Sabine Schmitz. As well as guests including Tallia Storm , the red carpet also featured a suspended Rover Metro Cabriolet, the 28-year-old bungee jumping car that features in the show’s most audacious stunt ever – and Porsche’s all new and all electric Taycan, that’s put through its paces by Harris in the new series.

The premiere, attended by media from South Africa, New Zealand, Poland and China, was introduced by the BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall who said of the current lineup: “With Paddy, Freddie and Chris at the wheel – no matter what goes wrong, they’ve always got each other’s backs. There’s a warmth to the show that people really respond to. It’s a show that’s never grown up, and I hope it never does!”

The Stig travels across London to the Top Gear premiere tonight at Leicester Square via public transport [Monday 20th January 2020]. Top Gear returns this Sunday, 26th January, 8pm, BBC Two. Photo credit: Joe Pepler/PinPep.
Paddy McGuiness said: “Getting to arrive at our own premiere and red carpet in an Aston Martin – what’s not to love! It’s a rush making Top Gear but it’s an even bigger thrill watching the first episode with 800 fans on a big screen and seeing and hearing their reactions. It’s a side of making TV we rarely get to see – the audience’s enjoyment of our show”

Guests were also treated to some exclusive highlights from the upcoming six-part season including Harris racing the £2.5m McLaren Speedtail against the RAF’s newest £100m fighter jet; McGuinness’s ultimate cheap, luxurious off-roader: the homebuilt ‘Dirty Rascal; and the trio navigating a high-altitude mountain expedition across Peru in second-hand American cars.

Speaking of the bungee jump Freddie Flintoff said: “I’ve done bungee jumps before and they’re actually alright. The problem with that one was this if you’re doing a normal bungee jump, you’ve got a rope around your feet and you know you’re attached. But in a car you can’t feel anything – you are just there. I was trying to style it out a little bit.”

Top Gear returns this Sunday, January 26th at 8pm on BBC Two and the opening episode sees McGuinness, Flintoff and Harris embark on a British summer holiday in super-cheap second-hand convertibles