TFI Friday presenter Chris Evans has revealed the new, revamped series of Top Gear will hit our TV screens in spring next year.
The 49-year-old, one of the confirmed hosts for the new-look motoring series, told Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin: “You can expect a car show starting on 5 May 2016.”
He added that production was already under way. “We're going to America to make our first inter-continental in January [and we're] making another film next week. By the time we hit the air, we'll have 32 films in the can as they say."
Evans takes over the helm of the hit series after the BBC decided against renewing Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear contract in the light of what it called a “fracas” with the show’s producer Oisin Tymon. Clarkson was suspended on 10 March, a decision that caused an outpouring of support from Top Gear fans, with more than a million people signing an online petition to reinstate him.
Clarkson and his former co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond have since signed contracts to front a new motoring show with Amazon Prime.
Evans’ arrival on the show was confirmed on 16 June, with the announcement that he had signed a three-year deal with the BBC. His co-hosts are still to be confirmed. Former model Jodie Kidd’s name has long been in the fray – the self-confessed petrolhead achieved an impressive 1m.48 seconds for her lap in a reasonably priced car – but she recently ruled herself out.
“I made the decision very recently,” says the 36-year-old. “Everyone every day has been asking me, am I doing it? Am I doing it? I am not, okay. But I feel greatly honoured that people think I could possibly be good enough to fill those shoes, especially as a woman.” F1’s Suzi Perry has also been linked to the new line-up.
Meantime, Evans continues to present TFI Friday for C4, with this week’s guest line-up including actor Daniel Radcliffe and singer Kylie Minogue.
Catch TFI Friday on C4 at 8pm