Radio 2 breakfast presenter Chris Evans has been confirmed as the main host of an all-new Top Gear line-up for the BBC TV series.
There have been rumours for the last three months that Evans was in line to take over from Jeremy Clarkson, following Clarkson’s departure from the show after a ‘fracas’ with a producer.
The BBC says Chris has signed a 3-year deal, with production on the new series due to start in the next few weeks. There’s no information as yet on who will join him to present the programme. Clarkson’s former co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May were rumoured to be staying on the TV show, but the BBC’s press release suggests they won’t now be, calling the line-up ‘all-new’.
Chris says: “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.”
Kim Shillinglaw, Controller, BBC Two and BBC Four, added: “I am so delighted that Chris will be presenting the next series of Top Gear. His knowledge of and passion for cars are well-known and combined with his sheer inventiveness and cheeky unpredictability he is the perfect choice to take our much-loved show into the future. Chris is a huge fan of Top Gear and has great respect for the craft and work ethic of one of the best production teams in the world. He knows the phenomenal attention to detail it takes to make a single sequence of Top Gear, let alone a whole series. He is already full of brilliant ideas and I can’t wait for him to get started.”
Chris was joined by Jeremy Clarkson in a Ferrari for a short sketch which aired last Friday on Evans’ TFI Friday special on Channel 4, while the pair were on Radio 2 together just a few weeks ago.
In March, Evans said he would never be putting himself forward for the job!
Re @SkyNews Top Gear debate. I can categorically say I am not and will NEVER be running for office. Pls discount my candidacy. .
— Chris Evans (@achrisevans) March 11, 2015
UPDATE 7.45pm: Chris has confirmed in a tweet that he isn’t leaving the Radio 2 breakfast show. But we know from his tweet above that he doesn’t always tell the truth!!
First tweet as new Top Gear host. I would like to say Jeremy, Richard & James are the greatest. And NO I'm not leaving the R2 Breakfast Show
— Chris Evans (@achrisevans) June 16, 2015