Belfast Telegraph

Jodie Kidd tipped to join Chris Evans in Top Gear driving seat

By Kate Ferguson and Emma Clark

Newly-appointed Top Gear presenter Chris Evans has confirmed he will be joined by a female co-host, sparking speculation former model Jodie Kidd is in the driving seat for the job.

Evans, who was announced as the new host of the hit show on Tuesday night, told Radio 5 Live's Nicky Campbell he could "100%" confirm he would have a female co-star "but not for the sake of it".

Kidd, a former model who has already been a guest on the BBC2 show, is the bookmakers' favourite for one of the two spots left after Richard Hammond and James May left.

A spokesman for William Hill said: "We think Jodie is almost a certainty but the third member of the expected triumvirate looks very open.

"There will be a load of celebrities willing their phones to ring."

The bookmakers have Kidd at 5/4, Guy Martin at 2/1, Philip Glenister at 3/1 and Dermot O'Leary at 5/1, even though he has previously ruled himself out.

Evans, who hosts the Radio 2 breakfast show, revealed Jeremy Clarkson was among the first to congratulate him on getting the job.

Evans (49) has long been tipped to take the driving seat on the flagship show after Clarkson was sacked for punching a producer in a row over a steak.

Evans repeatedly ruled himself out, but has signed a three-year contract to head a new line-up.

Evans said he was only convinced to take the three-year contract, worth a reported £3m, after Hammond and May decided they would not return to the show.

Evans told his listeners on his BBC Radio 2 show he was offered the job last Thursday afternoon.

He promised Top Gear viewers he will "look after it - I promise".

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