In the months since Jeremy Clarkson’s well-publicized ‘fracas,’ Top Gear fans have been involuntarily dragged through the five stages of grief. First there was denial, and then anger, followed by bargaining, and then a bit of depression. Now, it looks like it’s time to enter the final stage — acceptance.
The BBC has announced that British TV and radio presenter Chris Evans has signed a three-year deal to host the next iteration of Top Gear, meaning that the Jeremy, Richard, and James era has officially come to a close. Evans, a longtime car nut and friend of the trio, currently hosts The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2, as well as The One Show TV program.
The 49-year old Warrington native will lead a so-called dream team of presenters on the show, but details of the format are still under wraps. Evans did confirm, however, that the ‘new’ show will have a female co-host. Filming is scheduled to commence in the next few weeks.
Before this week’s announcement, Evans had ruled himself out of a position on Top Gear, saying on his radio show, “I didn’t want to be a pawn in a chess game involving three of my friends.” But after discussing the matter with friends and family, he came around.
“[Top Gear] is the biggest television show in the world, my favorite television show of all time — you know how much of a fan I am of the show,” he said. “I love producing TV, you know the kind of TV I love to produce, and so I said yes.”
He also posted the following message on his Twitter page:
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
Before Evans and crew take over, though, the BBC will air Season 22’s ‘lost episode,’ which is a mashup of footage filmed before Jeremy Clarkson’s initial suspension. You can watch the trailer right here.
Will you watch the next version of Top Gear, despite the absence of Jezza, Hamster, and Captain Slow? Let us know what you think of the BBC’s choice in the comments.