Chris Evans has started filming Top Gear and says it feels “weird” to be starting work on a series that the BBC will not broadcast until May, but adds that he is thrilled to be anchoring what he calls “the biggest show in the world”.
Explaining his decision to sign-up for Top Gear, Evans said he was only willing to be involved with the show once it “became a blank canvas”. He explained: “My friends weren’t involved in it any more. I didn’t want to be a pawn in that horrible game of who’s doing this and who’s doing that.”
There has been a curiously muted response to news that he has started filming the motoring series, which sits in stark contrast to the avalanche of frenzied commentary that greeted news that former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was underway with his own new Amazon motoring show. This might be an early sign that viewer figures may plunge after the new series goes to air in May 2016, with current Top Gear fans unable to accept Evans as the host of a completely revamped show. Only time will tell.
That hasn’t stopped people speculating what the Evans-hosted Top Gear will look like. The Guardian notes that the format and approach of the new episodes of Evans’ other outlet, TFI Friday, is true to his traditional approach. This means that Top Gear is likely to move from the carefully-scripted approach of the Clarkson era, to an “as-it-happens” format in which Evans “further adrenalises with rapid patter and a gang dynamic involving sidekicks or audience to create an atmosphere of spontaneous mayhem”.