Top Gear as we know it is dead. After the punch-up with producer Oisin Tymon, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May decided to reinvent themselves through an all-new car show on Amazon Prime. Then again, try to look at the bright side of things – now we have two car shows instead of one, with Chris Evans taking the helm of BBC Top Gear.
Speaking to James Martin on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, Evans made it clear that the first episode of post-Clarkson era Top Gear would be aired on BBC Two on May 8, 2016. The new incarnation of Top Gear will have 16 episodes, yet Chris Evans refused to comment whether these encompass a season or two 8-episode seasons.
Another mystery regarding the new format of Top Gear is the co-presenters’ identities. The question is even more pressing if you consider that filming duties for the 16 episodes are slated to finish on 5 May 2016.
From our point of view, chances are that Evans and the BBC already selected the co-presenters because Chris declared during James Martin’s show that “we’re going to America to make our first intercontinental in January.” We suspect that this refers to his Top Gear sidekicks, not the film crew.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Chris Evans and his co-presenters will make this work. Still, we’ll give new Top Gear a chance because Evans is an entertainer and a complete petrolhead. It might just work as long as he doesn’t copy Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. The three amigos put their slant on the show and now the time has come for Chris Evans to put his own.
It would’ve been fairer to Chris to give him his own car show without the baggage of the Top Gear badge, but here’s hoping. Clarkson, Hammond and May built an incredible television phenomenon that brought the art of being a petrolhead to the masses. While it may be difficult for people to adjust to the new format and hosts, we wish Chris Evans and his crew all the best.