Word has it that BBC execs are worried that the rebooted series 23 of Top Gear might be a flop in lucrative foreign territories, as new host Chris Evans is virtually unknown overseas. They’ve got good reason to be worried – with Top Gear being one of the corporation’s most exported shows, earning more than £50m per year.
There’s grave concern that the 350 million viewers in the 214 countries which Top Gear is shown will miss the old presenting line-up of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, and simply tune out. A source told The Sun: “British audiences are going to know exactly who Evans is, but globally the viewers are going to have no idea. If they don’t connect with his presenting style straight away, they could be turned off forever. It’s a huge concern.”
The success of the show isn’t all down to Evans, but also the two other yet to be announced hosts who will be joining him, with recent reports claiming he might reunite with his old Radio 1 sidekick Holly Samos on the show. Holly, who used to be BBC Radio 5 Live’s F1 pit-lane reporter, is thought to be the current frontrunner to join the show when it is relaunched next year.
Chris and Holly go way back, having previously dated as well as working together at Virgin Radio, Radio 1 and on Channel 4’s ‘TFI Friday’. It is was previously reported that Jodie Kidd and Suzi Perry were both in the running, but both have confirmed they will not be joining the show.
Chris recently revealed that he was ‘champing at the bit’ to get started on the show, which is expected to launch in Spring next year.
“We are ready to roll. We are now champing at the bit and getting far too hysterical for our own good,” he told ‘Top Gear’ magazine.