Reports have surfaced today linking German racing driver Sabine Schmitz and motoring journalist Chris Harris to the revamped version of Top Gear, which will be headed up by Chris Evans mid next year. Retired Formula 1 racing driver, David Coulthard, is also said to have been appointed to the new-look presenter line-up.
These reports come after Top Gear was hit with two back room departures – on Tuesday the show’s executive producer, Lisa Clark, announced that she was leaving the show after just five months. Clark, who had previously worked with Evans on Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, said in a statement she was “moving on to new projects”. She added: “I’d like to wish production all the very best with the show.”
The BBC issued a statement thanking Clark for her “incredible work for the last five months readying new Top Gear for its busy filming schedule in 2016 and planned return in May”. She was hired following the departure of Andy Wilman, who will join the old Top Gear presenting line-up on the new Amazon motoring show.
The second departure was Tom Ford, a script editor, who will also reportedly not be returning at the end of his contract.
Sabine Schmitz is a 46-year-old professional German motor racing driver for BMW and Porsche, and is also known for driving the BMW “ring taxi” around the Nürburgring race track. She gained worldwide fame after appearing on Top Gear back in 2004, where she attempted to help Jeremy Clarkson pilot a Jaguar S-Class Diesel around the track in under 10 minutes. She also returned in 2005, where she attempted to lap a Ford Transit van around the same track in under ten minutes:
Chris Harris, on the other hand, has written for motoring magazines including Autocar and has also presented a YouTube series on cars.
A Top Gear insider told The Sun: “Sabine and Chris are virtually unknown to the wider public and David isn’t the most charismatic driver.” So far, Evans – who also hosts the Radio Two breakfast show – has been tight-lipped about the format of the show. But speaking in Cannes earlier in the year, he hinted that there may not be co-hosts with him at all times on the new show.