Belfast Telegraph

Clarkson exit 'not fatal' - Evans

Axeing Jeremy Clarkson as host of Top Gear is not a "fatal blow" for the show, Chris Evans has said, as he again ruled himself out from taking over.

The BBC Radio 2 DJ, who remains among bookmakers' favourites to take Clarkson's place despite repeated denials, hit back at claims the hit BBC2 motoring show would need to be "reinvented".

And he said rumours co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond were also considering their positions were "wrong", backing the pair to keep the series going.

Clarkson was told this week his contract would not be renewed at the end of this month after a BBC investigation found he attacked and verbally abused one of the show's producers, Oisin Tymon.

BBC director general Tony Hall said the BBC would look to "renew" the show for next year and look at ways to screen the remaining episodes of the current series, cut short following the fracas that cost the 54-year-old his job.

Evans, writing in the Mail on Sunday, said: "In no way does Top Gear need to be reinvented. This series was shaping up to be the best yet. After surviving the insanity of what happened in Argentina for the Christmas special, it felt like the whole team had been drawn closer together as a result.

"As for Jeremy no longer being on the show: sure it's a huge loss. Top Gear was the show he was born to do. But by no means is it a fatal blow."

Politics, music and football all survived the departures of Winston Churchill, John Lennon and George Best, Evans said.

Reiterating he would not be taking part in the show, the One Show presenter said: "I love Top Gear. But I never want to watch me on it. Of course, I'm flattered that others seem to think my involvement would be a good idea. But they're hugely misguided.

"I also happen to think I actually wouldn't be very good at it."


From Belfast Telegraph