As it tries to revive Top Gear after the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, the BBC is apparently going with the theory that more is better. Because the new version of Top Gear premiering in May will have not one host but seven.
Joining previously-announced hosts Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc are Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris, Rory Reid, Eddie Jordan and, of course, “tame racing driver” The Stig. The BBC announced the full cast today, but did not reveal any details about how the format of the show might change to accommodate so many personalities.
Schmitz and Harris were previously rumored to be joining Top Gear. Schmitz is known as the queen of Germany’s infamous Nürburgring and appeared on the previous iteration of Top Gear multiple times, coaching Clarkson around the ‘Ring in a diesel Jaguar S-Type, trying to beat his time in a Ford Transit van, and participating in a “Top Gear vs. the Germans” special. Harris is a British automotive journalist known for his YouTube show “Chris Harris on Cars.”
Jordan is an Irish ex-racing driver, and started the now-defunct Jordan Grand Prix Formula One team in 1990. He sold the team in 2005 (it eventually morphed into the current Force India team) and became an F1 commentator for the BBC. Reid is an automotive journalist, and was selected through the public auditions the BBC held last year.
A previous rumor that former F1 driver David Coulthard would have a role in the show appears to have been just that. It’s also worth wondering whether Top Gear harvested a new Stig, or whether the man in the white suit is the same one from last season. The era of Clarkson, Hammond, and May came to an abrupt end almost a year ago when Clarkson was fired after being accused of punching a producer.
The previous Top Gear trio is now making their own show for Amazon. That show is also set to premiere this year. Whether the Three Stooges or the Magnificent Seven ultimately win out, it should be a great year for car television.
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