The BBC revealed today that Evans – who has been presenting the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show since 2010 – has inked a three-year deal to lead the BBC Productions-made Top Gear, and that production on the new series will begin in the next few weeks.
Clarkson’s contract with the pubcaster was not renewed in March following an altercation with producer Oisin Tymon that was later subject to an investigation. The presenter’s subsequent exit raised questions about the future of the program, which is one of the BBC’s most popular global franchises, attracting a worldwide audience of approximately 350 million viewers.
The pubcaster is to make more announcements about the rest of the “all-new” Top Gear line-up in due course.
Evans said in a statement that the series is his “favorite program of all time,” adding, “I promise I will do everything I possibly can to respect what has gone on before and take the show forward.”
Kim Shillinglaw, controller of BBC2 and BBC4, added: “[Chris'] 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.”
Evans had previously discounted speculation that emerged shortly after Clarkson’s exit that he would be joining the show, tweeting in March: “I can categorically say I am not and will NEVER be running for office. Pls discount my candidacy..”
(With files by Barry Walsh)