Tuesday 27 September 2016

Chris Evans names his choice Top Gear replacement

Sasha Brady

Published 11/07/2016 | 07:42

Poor ratings dogged the Chris Evans version of 'Top Gear'. Photo: VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Poor ratings dogged the Chris Evans version of 'Top Gear'. Photo: VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Matt LeBlanc (left) with Chris Evans
Chris Evans with co-presenter Matt LeBlanc while filming an episode of ‘Top Gear’ in Killarney earlier this year

Chris Evans has named the person he'd most like to replace him as host of Top Gear.

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Unsurprisingly it's his former co-host Matt LeBlanc.

The DJ, who announced last Monday that he was stepping down from the programme after a disastrous first series, called LeBlanc a "total mensch and extreme petrolhead".

He said that he was "extremely sad" that he had failed to bring in the viewers as ratings for Sunday's finale dropped to 1.9 million but he believes the former Friends actor is perfectly poised to carry on hosting duties without him.

Matt LeBlanc (left) with Chris Evans
Matt LeBlanc (left) with Chris Evans

Speaking in Event magazine, Evans was full of praise for LeBlanc.

"He is the captain Top Gear truly needs, a perfect torso for TG limbs.

Evans added that LeBlanc "eats, sleeps, breathes and dreams engines, propshafts and trail-braking. The while time I worked with him, he never onced looked at the clock, was never late, knew his lines inside and out and most importantly on such an intense production, always had time for everyone. He's such a pro.

"The simple truth is he and Top Gear were made for each other."

Chris Evans with co-presenter Matt LeBlanc while filming an episode of ‘Top Gear’ in Killarney earlier this year
Chris Evans with co-presenter Matt LeBlanc while filming an episode of ‘Top Gear’ in Killarney earlier this year

And he joked: "I got to share the screen with Joey from Friends."

The six-episode series was beset by unfavourable reviews, crashing ratings and reports of a breakdown in the relationship between the two lead hosts.

A BBC spokesman said the plan was to continue with the current line-up of presenters in Evans' absence.

It leaves LeBlanc as the main host, along with racing driver Sabine Schmitz, Formula One presenter Eddie Jordan, YouTube star Chris Harris, car enthusiast Rory Reid and The Stig.

Evans said that he'd have "loved to carry on" with the show "but letting go with a smile is far better than clinging on till you look constipated."

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