It's been an absolute age since Top Ger last graced our screens (the last series ended in March 2012 if you don't count the Bond special). But now we finally have confirmation of when we'll next be able to get our fix: mark your calendars for Sunday January 27th everyone, as Top Gear returns for its 19th series. Yes, that's just three weeks until Sunday nights become that bit more bearable to make you temporarily forget about the drudgery of the looming Monday morning monotony.
At least five episodes have been confirmed thanks to online ticket listings, but don't forget the Christmas special has yet to air, which reportedly sees the terrible trio on a trek through Africa in search of the source of the Nile. Expect it to be an extended episode in additon to the studio-based episodes, bringing the series up to six episodes. It's a shame they are no longer to produce series as long they used to be, really – it doesn't feel like it was long ago when we were getting series that were as long as 10 episodes, but I'm all for quality over quantity.
So what's in-store for this latest series, you may ask? More ambitious challenges? Some tyre-smoking powertests of ludicrously expensive supercars with the word "powerrr" exclaimed at every opportunity? Well, a bit of both as a preview on the Top Gear website testifies.
There's going to be another epic race in which Jeremy attempts to race Hammond and May on a train in a Shelby Mustang GT500 from London to Italy, another US road trip from Nevada desert to the Mexican border in the new Dodge Viper, Aston Martin Vanquish, and a Lexus LFA and Jeremy invents his own microcar in what looks like a sequel to the Peel P50 film, which stands as one of my personal favourite segments.
Elsewhere, there's the usual variety of 'How hard can it be?' DIY sections which will inevitably feature the scripted comedy that has become the bane of the series, usually ending in something catching fire. In the upcoming series, the team attempt to modify a Bentley GT Speed into a WRC car and a Fiat Multipla gets converted into a car perfect for old people.
Meanwhile, the line-up of cars touted to be featured in this series' powertests sound particularly tantalising. There's the Toyota GT86, which should be quite a spectacle with the Stig behind the wheel after witnessing Tiff giving it a sideways workout at Top Gear Live, a heated hot hatch battle between the Ford Focus ST, Renault Megane Renaultsport Cup 265 and Vauxhall Astra VXR and a belated test of Pagani's how-do-you-pronounce-it Zonda successor, the Huayra.
To top it off, there's going to be a roadtest on…the new Kia C'eed. Okay, on internet paper it may not sound like the most exciting car to be given the Top Gear treatment, but in the hands of Jeremy anything is possible. Indeed, it seems like it will be another of his infamously thorough road tests in the vein of the Ford Fiesta shopping mall extravaganza and the Renault Twingo's plunge into the sea that inadvertantly killed Ross Kemp,
All in all, sounds like a healthy mix with a good balance of typical Top Gear tomfoolery and supercar shenanigans for the passionate petrolheads. Can't wait.