Top gear is certainly a joke now, unless you take it for what it truly is.
It stopped being a televised 'motoring magazine' when Clarkson and his 'wit' took over and the likes of Tiff Needell, VBH, Chris Goffey and Tony (whatshisname, did rally reports?)
Called it a day.
It became and still is an 'entertainment spectacular' which has only a tenuous grip on cars as an excuse for it's existence.
Like you say, kids love it. They also like, total wipeout, i'm a celebrity hasbeen. big brother and x factor, hmmmmm.
I guess this is the reason Tiff and VBH defected and now present 5th gear on the other channel, that one is somewhere near where the 'proper' top gear used to be, they test new cars that the average family can afford and realistic second hand ones as well as the flash pretty ones everyone likes to look at but can't afford.
I can't see MCN heading that way, they've been on the go since forever and like it or not, their job is to report on the market and the machines, whatever they may be.
Don't forget, a few short years ago the only thing you saw plastered everywhere was the BMW S1000RR, specials and features and head to heads and tests and how far can you wheelie one while eating a ginsters pasty reports and the like.
Also remember the RC30, everyone drooled over them, no regular joe could afford one, that was pricey exotica in it's day and still got stacks of press.