Chris Evans, the man tasked with taking over from Jeremy Clarkson as presenter of Top Gear, has revealed that he will be holding open auditions to find his new co-hosts. So long as you have “a real appetite for cars” you’re welcome to get involved, even if you’re not famous. “If you’re up for it, we want to hear from you,” he said.
Evans made the comments on The One Show, which he presents every Friday, making the point that James May and Richard Hammond were found through an open audition process. He also confirmed that there would definitely be at least one female presenter on the show, but made it clear she wouldn’t be there “for the sake of it” but because they’re a proper petrolhead.
“You’ve got to know something about cars - you can be a mechanic, you can be an amateur racing driver, you can be a guy who’s a fireman but has been building his own Land Rover in his shed for five or 10 years… but you’ve got to know about cars.”Chris Evans
Evans was announced as the new Top Gear host on Tuesday, and said he’d only been offered the job last Thursday after Hammond and May finally confirmed they would not return.
Speaking on his weekday breakfast show on Radio 2, Evans also explained why he had officially ruled himself out of contention for the role:
[Hammond and May] were very much considering returning. The BBC had made an offer to them, I was aware of that. And I wanted them to return, wanted Top Gear to carry on, as a fan. And I thought, honestly, as a betting man, that was going to happen.
So whenever I said I categorically rule myself out of ‘running for office’… it was because I didn’t want to be a pawn in a chess game involving two - and in fact three, including Jeremy - of my friends.
Evans spoke to each of the outgoing presenters after accepting the role, and received good luck wishes. This might not be Top Gear as we know it, but if anyone can carry on Clarkson’s reign of controversy, it’s Chris Evans. The question now is: who will join him?