To no one’s surprise after the tension between Chris Evans and the rest of the Top Gear team reached critical level, the former has left the show after just one season.
Whether he actually quit or was given the sack by BBC after falling out with everyone else is not relevant at this point. Not with falling ratings, Clarkson and Co coming up with The Grand Tour and… oh yes, having to find a new lead host.
Granted, some say (pun intended) they should just keep going with the rest of the hosts, and that maybe Matt LeBlanc can take the lead as he does have lots of on-screen experience and let the rest just get on with their jobs. This could work, but probably won’t be the way BBC goes. After all, Evans wasn’t the only one to blame for the audience turning its back to TG, right?
One bad season is barely acceptable, two in a row are a disaster and the producers know this better than anyone else. We’d place our bets on them bringing in someone new; but who might that be?
It depends on BBC’s priorities. Assuming they want to make headlines that will help make people forget the Evans fiasco and bring a really big name in, then Rowan Atkinson would be a very good choice. Not only is he a household name the world over, he is also a petrolhead and if you’ve only read about him crashing his McLaren F1 twice, then perhaps the fact that he is a petrolhead, plus a former Car magazine contributor, could make you see beyond his Mr. Bean or Blackadder personae.
If, on the other hand, they want to play it safe, Tiff Needell (who was in TG in the past, too) has a sense of humor, no one in his right mind can doubt his driving skills, he knows the ropes… Will it have the desired effect? Not sure, for Top Gear has grown to be more than just another car show and Tiff is known to car and motorsport fans.
How about Jodie Kidd, the delectable supermodel who was asked to join TG but declined? Maybe this time around they’ll manage to convince her and hey, the UK had a female Prime Minister long before the US was waiting to see if it will get its first female President.
Speaking of PMs, why not try something radical? A Tory he might be, but Boris Johnson will send shock waves across the media and, surely, make for a very, very interesting choice. He’s been there as a guest in the “Celebrity In A Reasonably Priced Car” section, has a knack for doing the unexpected (he surprisingly balked at replacing David Cameron after the Brexit, didn’t he?)… what else could one possibly want?
Good old Jezza and the other two guys BACK, that’s what! Yes, they have signed a lucrative deal with Amazon, but where there is a will, there is a way, there has to be a way for BBC and Amazon to strike some kind of mutually beneficial deal. If not, then maybe the Beeb should just admit defeat and axe Top Gear altogether.
Now, your turn: if you had to pick one, who would you rather have? If the answer is “none of the above”, you can, as always, recommend someone else in the comments’ section.