Interest in new Top Gear 'the perfect storm', says Chris Evans


Chris Evans has described the gossip surrounding the much-awaited return of Top Gear as the "perfect storm".

Huge interest was sparked after previous frontman Jeremy Clarkson was sacked for an "unprovoked physical and verbal attack" on a producer, and co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond, who had presented the show together since 2003, later left.

Chris, the motoring show's new frontman, told BBC Breakfast that for "certain aspects of the media this was the perfect storm" because it was a "a story they could play with".

Chris Evans and Sabine Schmitz (Andrew Matthews/PA )

In this case the media were not missing out on details because of the speed of social media and instant live broadcasting, he said, but "the things they started with were so mad and made-up that I thought, 'where is this going to go?'."

Petrolheads will get their first look at the new version of the show when it returns to BBC Two on Monday.

Chris said he is "genuinely excited" about being on the programme, which boasts a new line-up including Friends star Matt LeBlanc and four other hosts, including German racing driver Sabine Schmitz, plus The Stig.

Top Gear presenters Chris Harris (left) and Rory Reid (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

For the last 11 months and two weeks, since he found out he was taking over from Clarkson, Chris has been preoccupied with things like helping to sort out scripts, locations and employing people, he said.

Eddie Jordan and The Stig (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Chris, who has done a lot of live TV and radio work, said pre-recording the show means the presenters know they can go back and fix things.

He told BBC Breakfast: "You may not have fluffed a line or anything like that, but that thought is in there, so you do fluff a line because you are already thinking, 'hang on a minute, I know I can do this again'."