Cult BBC motoring show Top Gear looks to be nearing the end of the road, it appears - with current series ratings hitting an all-time low, and criticism that the programme and its colourful presenting trio have become too predictable and 'disappeared up their a*ses'.

Two years ago, viewing figures were at a high of eight million, but the latest series - the 14th in the show's history - has seen that plummet to just 5.5 million, and executive producer Andy Wilman has hinted that the end might now sadly be nigh.

Wilman is credited with having transformed Top Gear from a niche-orientated, motoring enthusiasts' favourite to a popular family entertainment show all around the globe - but he now warns that the novelty of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and the enigmatic 'Stig' might be irreversibly wearing off.

"There is a grumble and a rumble in the air from some of our regulars that we have lost the plot, we've disappeared up our a*ses and we're predictable," he is quoted as having said by Yahoo.

"It's fair to say that this incarnation of Top Gear is nearer the end than the beginning, and our job is to land this plane with its dignity still intact - but that doesn't mean we won't be trying new things to the last, even if they screw up, because it means you never stopped trying."

Of late, an increasing number of F1 drivers have appeared on the programme, with British world champions Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell all taking part in the 'Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car' time trial feature, and Michael Schumacher famously unveiling himself as The Stig in what was described as one of the publicity stunts of the year.