Chris Evans has been announced as the new face of BBC Two’s long running ‘car show’ Top Gear. The series, which first aired in the 1970s, has had several line-up changes over the years, but the latest appointment follows the controversial departure of lead host Jeremy Clarkson.
“We’re announcing today that Chris Evans has signed a three-year deal to lead an all-new Top Gear line-up.” – BBC Two
Production on the new series of Top Gear will start in the next few weeks and more information will be announced in due course the beeb today confirmed. Chris Evans had been mooted as a possible personality to take over the series following Clarkson’s departure after he had an ‘altercation’ with one of the shows producers in March. He was sacked by the BBC shortly afterwards. Evans is well known for his love of cars, and clearly the corporation think this will prove a success for the future of the series. The former Big Breakfast host is currently a regular on BBC One with a presenting role on magazine series The One Show as well as the recent VE Day celebrations and presiding over the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show.
Who will join Evans is still to be announced. If the final odds are to be believed, then it will be Dermot O’Leary and Philip Glenister who’ll also sign up to the show; they currently are marked as being at 6/4 and 11/4 in the market.
“Evans was favourite from day one and punters have filled their boots despite the unsubtle hints that he has been dropping on Twitter,” – William Hill spokesman, Joe Crilly.
“I’m thrilled, Top Gear is my favourite programme of all time. Created by a host of brilliant minds who love cars and understand how to make the massively complicated come across as fun, devil-may-care and effortless. When in fact of course, it’s anything but and that’s the genius of Top Gear’s global success. I promise I will do everything I possibly can to respect what has gone on before and take the show forward.” – Chris Evans
Top Gear launced in 1977 with Tom Coyne, along with Angela Rippon, as the presenters. Other faces to front the show over the years include Noel Edmonds and Quentin Willson. The series was relaunched after dwindling ratings into a ‘petrol heads’ series in 2002 with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May overseeing proceedings. Clarkson and Evans recently appeared together on a one-off special of Channel 4’s TFI Friday where the former host gave Evans ‘tips’ on how to present the series.
TFI Friday and Evans proved to be a hit for Channel 4 with the 20th anniversary special reaching 3.35 million viewers and an audience share of 18.3%. Clarkson recently returned to the BBC to film some final sequences for Top Gear due to air later this year.