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Evans seeks Top Gear audition clips

Published 18/06/2015

Chris Evans leaves the BBC Radio studios in London, in his vintage Aston Martin, after he was announced as the new Top Gear presenter
Chris Evans leaves the BBC Radio studios in London, in his vintage Aston Martin, after he was announced as the new Top Gear presenter

Chris Evans has called on Top Gear fans to send in short audition clips for a job on the show, as he admitted he has been terrified of losing his driving licence since landing the presenter role.

The Radio 2 breakfast show DJ said that he had "never driven more carefully" since getting the hosting job.

He told candidates to send in videos of themselves from the waist up, with "no stunts, no gimmicks" or cars, behaving as they would if they were on the show.

Evans said that he had spent a lot of time in his car yesterday, after his appointment was announced, driving to and from appearances on TV and radio shows and that he was extremely careful to stick to the speed limits.

"The most striking thing about the whole day was that I spent a lot of it in my car," he told listeners.

"I have never driven more carefully. I have now realised I can't lose my licence.

"You know when you drive so tentatively you're almost a bit of a danger ... I stuck to all the speed limits," he added.

Last night Evans said that he would be holding auditions to find a co-host on the hit show.

Today he said that candidates needed to have an "appetite, hunger and need" to host the motoring show, which will be broadcast on BBC2 in March or April.

"If nobody's good, nobody is going to get the job," he said.

The broadcaster was tipped to take the driving seat on the flagship BBC show after Jeremy Clarkson was sacked for punching a producer in a row over steak.

When his appointment was announced, weeks after he ruled himself out of the running, the BBC also confirmed that James May and Richard Hammond would not be back.

Evans said that the audition was "not a stunt" and added: "We hope that that there's going to be an amazing response to this not just in the UK but around the world."

A candidate's video should demonstrate a "relationship with cars" and successful presenters will have to know "at least as much as or more than me" about cars, he said.

Wannabe presenters will then be whittled down for a live audition in front of Evans and the production team.

Evans warned they may not be picked to co-host the show, but may front a segment.

He said that there will definitely be a "female presence" on the show but not necessarily a co-host.

He told listeners that the show was a "blank canvas ... but of course there are established features on the show that I don't want to see go as a fan of the programme, so they are not going anywhere.

"How much we are going to have to nip and tuck and shave and build upon we are not quite sure yet, but we are going to have a look, we are going to figure it out," he said.

"But one of the things, of course, we are looking for right now are co-hosts for the programme."

He said: "There will definitely be a female presence on the show, and that could well be a co-presenter, it could be two. It could be no co-presenters and a film reporter or a driver. It's all a big open book."

He added: "There is no guarantee that we are definitely going to have a member of the public hosting the show - it will only happen if that person is suitable and any good."

Anyone over the age of 16 with a love of cars is invited to audition and the address of the website will be revealed on Evans's radio show tomorrow morning.

He said that many Top Gear fans had suggested Guy Martin for one of the presenting jobs.

"The thing is does he want to do it?" Evans said.

Speaking generally about the names that have been suggested, he said: "Would they be right for it? They are good at what they do at the moment but would that work on Top Gear?"

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