Top Gear Tunnel 01 PresentersThe IPS Prolyte Tunnel Outdoor Roof Structure has provided the setting for the recent BBC TV series of Top Gear

Hosted by Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness, the latest series of BBC’s Top Gear Motoring TV show has seen not only a move to a BBC1 spot, but also a socially distanced outdoor version of the TG studio recreated as a drive-in cinema style experience. To comply with social distancing guidelines, the outdoor version of the show was produced on the runway at the TG test track location at Dunsfold Aerodrome, with a jumbo jet providing an epic backdrop for the show setting. If you are into cars, you have probably already watched the series, but if you’d like to know more about the show, there are details on series 29 on the BBC website.

Top Gear Tunnel 03 BuildIPS supplied a 14m version of the Prolyte Tunnel Roof, which was constructed on a Layher substructure. The structure was significantly reinforced to ensure that the 15 tonne loading imposed by the signature Top Gear stage set could be incorporated within the Tunnel Roof – which features the first cars owned by each of the three presenters on raised platforms. The smart all black internal finish of the IPS Tunnel Roof was perfect for the TV show – all truss, keder, rigging and sheeting elements could blend into the background. Either side of the main roof structure, the Layher base was extended to incorporate 10m wide truss based self-climbing LED Screen supports, giving an impressive total structure frontage of just under 35 metres.

Top Gear Tunnel 04 RampThe customised Tunnel Roof also featured a vehicle access ramp to the rear of the platform to provide easy access for the motorised stars of the show to get onstage as required. IPS also provided a series of 9m high truss based self-climbing rigging towers used as lighting positions in front of the structure, and a number of camera platforms. IPS worked with structural engineers to provide a full structural report and wind loading document included with the comprehensive Health & Safety documentation produced for the event, which also incorporated all the Covid-19 secure procedures in place for safe onsite working, in compliance with the BBC requirements.

Top Gear Tunnel 02 DroneThe design vision of the show itself was the mastermind of Production Designer Rudi Thackray from Vagabond Production Design who worked with the Top Gear producers to ensure that everything looked right – and the whole series has certainly been a resounding success. Lighting design and equipment were provided by long term BBC TG supplier JL lighting, which really emphasised the smooth lines of the Tunnel Structure and made the most of the outdoor setting.

IPS is an established live event supplier, although has been involved with an increasing number of structure projects for Film and TV shows over the past season. Please get in touch if you have any staging and structure requirements for indoor or outdoor projects, or check out the range of standard Outdoor Roof structures on the IPS website, or look at for the wide range of Staging, Rigging, Lighting, Video, Sound and Power trade hire equipment also available from IPS on a dry hire basis, or as part of a techincal production solution.