Top Gear set to cross the Channel

Hit BBC series Top Gear is to be launched in France - a country which banned two of the UK presenters of the show from its roads last year.

A French version of the Top Gear format is to be produced
A French version of the Top Gear format is to be produced

A version of the programme is to be made locally by BBC Worldwide France for the broadcaster RMC Decouverte and will begin filming in the next few months for screening next year.

Presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond were pulled over for speeding while filming the programme's Perfect Road Trip DVD, prompting a temporary ban and fines.

The French broadcaster already broadcasts the original UK versions of the programme, delivering some of its highest ratings.

The Top Gear format has been sold to countries such as Australia, South Korea and the US, and a Chinese version will launch later this year.

Adam Waddell, the director of entertainment brands for BBC Worldwide, said: "The French have some amazing roads and incredible scenery which is why Top Gear UK has often filmed there.

"Now French petrol heads are going to have their own version of the programme and I have no doubt that the hosts will bring their own personality and sense of humour to the new show. I can't wait to watch it develop."

BBC Worldwide France has produced other formats in the country including The Great Bake Off, The Weakest Link, Antiques Roadshow and Dancing With The Stars, the international version of Strictly Come Dancing.