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Social media fumes as BBC names new Top Gear presenter

By Charl Bosch - Jun 17, 2015
Social media fumes as BBC names new Top Gear presenter

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has officially announced that radio and television personality, Chris Evans, will replace Jeremy Clarkson as the new lead presenter of Top Gear.

His appointment ends three months of speculation following the broadcaster’s decision not to renew Clarkson’s contract after he punched the show’s Associate Producer, Oison Tymon, at Yorkshire Hotel in an alleged fracas over the lack of hot food following a day’s filming.

It has been reported that Evans, a self-proclaimed petrolhead who appeared on the show twice before as the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car”, had singed a three year deal to host the show after initially denying reports, as far back as September last year, that he would take over once Clarkson’s contract ran out.

“Top Gear is my favourite programme of all time. Created by a host of brilliant minds who love cars and understand how to make the massively complicated come across as fun, devil-may-care and effortless. When in fact, of course, it's anything but and that's the genius of Top Gear's global success,” Evans told Top Gear Magazine.

“I promise I will do everything I possibly can to respect what has gone on before and take the show forward”.

Known for his collection of Ferrari’s, which amongst others includes a 1961 250 GT California Spyder SWB and one of the 39 250 GTO’s ever built, Evans, who currently hosts BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show, told his 1.87-million followers on twitter shortly afterwards, “First tweet as new Top Gear host. I would like to say Jeremy, Richard & James are the greatest. And NO I'm not leaving the R2 Breakfast Show”.

No word has yet been made as to his co-presenter although speculation continues to mount that former guest and supermodel Jodie Kidd, as well as actor Philip Glenister, are tipped to replace Richard Hammond and James May following their decisions to leave the show despite not being implicated in the fracas.

It still remains unclear as to Clarkson and his co-presenters’ doings although it is being reported that the trio are negotiating a deal with online streaming provider, Netflix, to present a show rumoured to be called “House of Cars”.

“Chris is a huge fan of Top Gear and has great respect for the craft and work ethic of one of the best production teams in the world,” BBC Two Controller Kim Shillinglaw said.

“His knowledge of and passion for cars are well known, and combined with his sheer inventiveness and cheeky unpredictability, he is the perfect choice to take our much-loved show into the future. He knows the phenomenal attention to detail it takes to make a single sequence of Top Gear, let alone a whole series. He is already full of brilliant ideas and I can't wait for him to get started”.

The announcement has however received widespread criticism on social media with many fans vowing to never watch the show unless Clarkson is reinstated, while some have stated that the show will be canned due to tumbling ratings.