BBC’s Top Gear has managed to solidify itself as not only one of the most successful factual TV programs in the world, but one of the most successful shows of all time. While it had a fairly recognizable run starting in 1977 – the series began to take off to new heights following its revival in 2002 with Jeremy Clarkson as its main host. The series has since managed to gain a dedicated worldwide fan following unlike most any other show on TV right now.
However, the future of the series was put into question a few months ago after Jeremy Clarkson’s contract was suspended, following an investigation that proved he had entered into a short physical altercation with one of the show’s producers. The studio has confirmed that the series will continue on following Clarkson’s departure, but a lot has remained unknown about the show – including who would be hosting it in the future…. Until now.
The BBC has officially announced that longtime British TV and Radio host, Chris Evans, will be taking over for Clarkson, and will be leading an entirely new Top Gear hosting lineup – including replacing Clarkson’s co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond. Evans has made a name for himself on British radio and television on notable shows like Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast and TFI Friday.
While Evans may be a divisive choice for some of the show’s followers – BBC Two Controller Kim Shillinglaw commented on the news with the following:
“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.”
Evans had previously spoken publicly about how he wouldn’t be getting the job. However, following the announcement, he shifted gears and spoke more honestly – promising he is a fan of the series, and will be working hard to make sure it maintains its quality moving forward. He is also a well-known car-lover and has his own private collection of vintage and new automobiles, which should help to at least partially comfort some of the fans.
BBC is planning on showcasing some of the previously unaired footage with Clarkson, May, and Hammond in the coming weeks, but fans who might have been hoping for one more full episode with the trio will sadly be disappointed (by the look of it). Whether or not the audience even tunes in for the now Evans-led Top Gear however – that remains to be seen.