Chris Evans, Jeremy Clarkson’s successor on Top Gear, has said that he is close to announcing a new line-up for the show, but insisted that he will not “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
In an interview with the BBC’s official Top Gear magazine, which is out on Wednesday, Evans said that getting the right co-hosts was “nearly in place. We’re so very close.”
Following the departure of Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond from Top Gear, the BBC advertised publicly for applicants to join Chris Evans as hosts of the Sunday night motoring show. Evans said that despite the intense media interest in who his co-hosts will be, it is even more important to get the behind-the-scenes team right.
“Honestly, it’s not the furthest thing away from my mind, but it is quite distant compared to directors, producers, Evans said. “I have got to get that team, because, without the team, it doesn’t matter what presenters we get.”
The 49-year-old presenter admitted that becoming the new face of Top Gear would be challenging, and said that following on from Jeremy Clarkson was a bit like becoming the new Doctor Who.
“This is, without doubt, the most challenging thing I have ever done in my career,” Evans said, comparing his new role to taking over his current BBC Radio 2 show from Terry Wogan.
“People kept saying [after Wogan] I had ‘big shoes to fill’, and they’re saying it again now. I don’t mean they’re wrong or they’re right, it’s just such a predictable thing to say – and, by the way, Jeremy is very tall, so they’re even bigger shoes,” said Evans.
Parts of the show that fans love will remain, Evans added, but other parts will be different. “Nothing has to [change], but some things will. I can’t tell you what precisely. But it would be silly to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”