JEREMY CLARKSON: Gone, but not forgotten, and now replaced by the BBC on the stumbling 'Top Gear' show by ex-radio presenter Chris Evans (inset). Images: Supplied and AP
LONDON, England - The BBC says its hit automotive TV show "Top Gear" will return with a new host to replace scandal-tainted Jeremy Clarkson.
The broadcaster said radio and TV personality Chris Evans had signed a three-year deal to lead a new line-up for the show which had a huge following with its mix of car tips, driving stunts and jokey banter.
NOW ON TOUR
Clarkson was fired in March 2015 for punching one of the show’s producers during an off-set altercation. The show's other hosts, Richard Hammond and James May, also left and the three are currently in South Africa (June 2015) with a touring autos-based show called ‘Clarkson, Hammond &May’.
The incident threatened the future of one of BBC's most popular shows – and one of its biggest international earners. Clarkson's brash, blokey persona was a large part of "Top Gear's" appeal to fans.
Evans said on June 16 that he was thrilled to be hosting "my favorite programme of all time".
WHO IS EVANS?
According to an online biography on Wikipedia, Evans, 49, has been in radio and TV since he was a teenager but became famous though a Channel 4 radio show called 'The Big Breakfast'. As his fame spread he was even appearing on competing radio and TV stations.
By 2000, the bio reports, he was the UK's highest-paid entertainer.
In 2005, it adds, he joined BBC Radio 2 to host a motoring show called 'Drivetime', in 2010 went back to breakfast shows.
Now he has the challenge of 'Top Gear'. We'll be watching...
Evans tweeted the news of his appointment as Top Gear's new host to his 1.87 million Twitter followers:
Former host James May reacted on Twitter to the BBC's announcement:
Chris Evans showing James May his Ferrari California: