After the disastrous ‘Cenotaph’ incident, the BBC has brought to an end the long-running speculation about who is actually in driving seat of the relaunched Top Gear, following the departure of its executive producer earlier this year.
Chris Evans is now officially taking what the BBC calls the “creative lead” on the show but the BBC has named Clare Pizey, its £150,000-a-year head of factual entertainment, as the woman who will oversee the future of its flagship driving show – calling her the “editorial lead”. A BBC spokesman said: “Clare is an experienced head of department whose credits include big must-see events such as Children in Need and Sport Relief. Clare will be responsible for the editorial content of Top Gear. She will continue to lead the factual entertainment department including overseeing Children in Need 2016.”
Usually the person overseeing the show is called ‘executive producer’, but Pizey’s title of ‘creative lead’ will replace the role of executive producer. Evans has been driving the direction of the show but the presenter of a show can’t be an executive producer as well – as per BBC policy after the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand prank telephone scandal.
An additional role of showrunner has been created for series editor Alex Renton – one of the few remaining members of the original Top Gear team, who worked with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.