A shame they didn't stick to filming relatively close to transmission.
Well I guess Clarkson’s schedule rules that out. Plus of course it’s cheaper to get all episodes recoded in a batch.
Does it really matter if the show is not filmed close to transmission? The Chase, Pointless, Tipping Point are all filmed weeks, even months in advance of transmission.
I remember an episode of Deal or No Deal, around 2009 I think, where Noel took a member of the audience outside of the studio in the car park - the episode was airing in mid December, but the trees where in full leaf, flowers everywhere, and the sun as out, and Noel just said they have a different eco system here in Bristol, which is why in mid December the weather is looking like early August.