2016’s Top Gear series 23 is set to be “really different” without the familiar faces of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Whilst many aspects of the show are expected to be retained, BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw says there’s going to be a few changes in store.
New Top Gear The show will apparently retain “many aspects” of the series when it was presented by Clarkson and his co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond, reports The Guardian. But there are some changes in store…
New ‘supersized’ track
Is bigger really better? Apparently the Top Gear track, at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, is expected to be ‘supersized’, which can be easily done by changing which areas of the aerodrome are used. With Clarkson, Hammond and May’s new series also expected to be filmed in the UK, there’s nothing to stop them renting out Dunsfold and using it as their track, so perhaps the BBC are changing the configuration of Top Gear’s track to help differentiate the shows.
Chris Evans new face of Top Gear
As we already know, Clarkson will be replaced by one of the UK’s favourite radio gingers, Chris Evans – who is worryingly due to present a new series of Channel 4’s TFI Friday (because obviously landing the lead role on Top Gear wasn’t worth dedicating absolutely all of your attention to). Speaking about Evans, Shillinglaw said she could not think of anyone who better combines an “absolute passion for cars” with “incredible” spontaneity.
A female co-host
Evans as gone on record by saying he’s “100 per cent” going to include a woman in the new Top Gear line-up. Former model Jodie Kidd was widely tipped for the job, but she announced last month that she would not be joining the new team. Kidd said she had been in talks about the show and was “greatly honoured” to have been considered, but feared that it would be “all-consuming”. She told the Daily Telegraph: “I love doing all the different things I am doing in my life at the moment. Top Gear is the most brilliant show on this planet but it would just take over your soul. That would be it.”
Evans, who has signed a three-year deal to lead the new line-up for the show, said: “I want people who are extremely knowledgeable about cars, I want to have people who have great energy, people who have good timing, people who have warmth about them, people who are keen and eager to do things differently.”
Evans has said he would never let anything go out on Top Gear that he thought could “justifiably attract any negative reaction or criticism for the sake of it to cultivate notoriety”. He added that “careful doesn’t mean boring” and that it was a “lack of imagination that makes you have to shock” – comments that some interpreted as a little dig at Clarkson.
Shillinglaw has said she is “excited” and “terrified” at the thought of bringing back the show without Clarkson.
Speaking about Clarkson’s departure at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Shillinglaw said: “It was a very sad episode in lots of ways. For me, the biggest reminder is for all this is telly, for all this is business, a competitive industry, at the end of the day it’s about human beings.”