It’s official. Chris Evans is now the new lead host of Top Gear. He replaces Jeremy Clarkson after the former host was canned in March after being involved in an on-set “fracas” that ended with him punching a producer. Evans has been a television and radio fixture in England for decades now, and a personal friend of Clarkson’s. He’s a huge, if somewhat eccentric, gear head and owns a fleet of classic Ferraris, all of which he’s painted white.

"I promise I will do everything I possibly can to respect what has gone on before and take the show forward," Evans told the BBC. He added that he’s a huge fan of the show and was “thrilled” to be tapped for the job. His name came up several times a replacement for Clarkson, but he previously said he wasn’t interested. That was apparently before the BBC offered him a three-year deal worth what is likely to be a lot of money.

The Beeb also confirmed that co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May will not be returning. The two are thought to be joining Clarkson for a new show similar in format to Top Gear on Netflix. The search for new co-hosts is apparently on-going, but television star Jodie Kidd, motorcycle legend Guy Martin and actor Philip Glenister have all been mentioned as possibilities.

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Why it matters

Evans has some large shoes to fill, but it’s worth remembering that Clarkson, Hammond and May weren’t Top Gear’s original hosts, though they are at least partly responsible for creating the show’s zany and irreverent voice. With that in mind, Evans could be a pretty good fit for the job. He’s known as divisive and somewhat egotistical personality within the U.K. media, which something that definitely worked to Clarkson’s advantage, at least until he punched someone.

Source: BBC

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