Top Gear is back this Sunday for series 17 – images image

The world’s favourite programme about cars and middle aged men falling over returns for a brand new series – Top Gear Season 17.

In the first episode, Jeremy Clarkson celebrates the 50th birthday of the legendary Jaguar E-type by driving a modern, half a million pound interpretation of this classic sports car before putting on a typically low key birthday party involving live music, classic fighter planes and a group of Royal Marines.

Meanwhile, Richard Hammond is in South Africa to test a bigger, even more rugged alternative to the famous Hummer whilst James May meets up with gold medal winning British Olympian Amy Williams for a wintry test of the latest Mini rally car.

Plus, the power crazed BMW 1-series M slithers around the test track in a cloud of tyre smoke and Alice Cooper takes his place in the Reasonably Priced Car.

The first episode of Top Gear airs on BBC2 and BBC HD this Sunday at 8pm

– official images from BBC