‘Zoo TV’ Era’s Poster-Child Chris Evans To Lead BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ — The Crew And Format To Be Revamped?

BBC’s iconic automotive-inspired show, Top Gear, has a new man at the wheel — Chris Evans.

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has chosen Chris Evans (not the one who plays Captain America), as the lead presenter on Top Gear, replacing Jeremy Clarkson. Though Chris had categorically mentioned he won’t be a part of the show, he had a change of heart after the show’s co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May, quit too.

One of the longest running shows, which was religiously followed and discussed by gearheads and automotive fanatics, Top Gear has always been strongly synonymous with Jeremy, Richard, and James. They had the ability to cut through the grease and offer a simplistic account of the features that truly mattered about the vehicles. The trio verbally dissected relevant aspects for the benefit of their avid audience. Their ability to rise above the technical specifications and the marketing jargon had earned Top Gear a cult status.

Chris Evans, on the other hand, is the poster-child of “zoo TV,” a genre of television that thrived on the ability of the yesteryear’s TV presenter to include any and all who were present during the filming. In his younger days, Evans hosted “live shows” that relied on the studio audience to be a significant part of the show. The crew, cameraman, floor managers, in short, anyone on the production floor could suddenly become part of the shenanigans for the entertainment of the viewing public. Chris successfully hosted Channel 4 breakfast show The Big Breakfast in 1992, before hosting such ruckus-filled Friday night zoo shows Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush and TFI Friday.

Incidentally, these shows have more than prepped Chris for the bold, no-nonsense, yet tongue-in-cheek format of Top-Gear. The only trouble is, the petrolheads across the world have clearly identified Top Gear with Jeremy and the gang, who are no longer with the show.

While Jeremy was slated for replacement for his behavior, his comrades, Hammond and May, stood by him and maintained they too would walk off if Jeremy was fired. This means the show is devoid of any old-timers and is about to be headed by Chris Evans, who, incidentally, won’t be stepping down from the host’s chair at R2 Breakfast Show.

Though BBC studio is contemplating hiring another co-host for Chris Evans, the show might have to undergo some fundamental changes. Besides the absence of original hosts, Top Gear may not have the “one main host and two co-hosts” format that it is famous for.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]

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