Top Gear is losing founding editor Kevin Blick after 10 years at the helm. Blick quit to go freelance declaring it was “the right time to move on”.
His resignation comes less than two months after a redesign, timed to coincide with the relaunch of the BBC TV show. Blick was given a brief to recreate the spirit of the programme in print and establish it as a front-runner in the motoring market. He introduced a 20-page section featuring more “hard-hitting” tests, news and humour.
Commenting on his departure, he said: “After introducing a successful new look last autumn to reflect Jeremy Clarkson’s triumphant return to the programme and after 10 years of my life in this job, I feel it’s the right moment to move on. I’m leaving behind a title that is enjoying increased sales and has been reinvigorated. That’s a great time for someone else to jump into the driving seat.”
He said he would miss the magazine and the team enormously, but added: “I certainly won’t miss the daily trip round the M25 to get there.”
Top Gear recorded sales of 150,747 in the latest ABCs. It remained stable on the previous period, but fell 10.3 per cent year-on-year. Blick has overseen a total of 117 issues and won several PPA Awards in his time as editor.
Nicholas Brett, deputy managing director of BBC Magazines, said Blick was “Mr Top Gear” and finding a replacement will be difficult.
“His Top Gear redefined the motoring market and has stayed on top since its launch. Kevin edited with energy, creativity and integrity – we wish him well,” he added.
Blick has agreed to stay on until May while the company looks for a replacement.
By Ruth Addicott