Revealed: Jesse Eisenberg among first new Top Gear celebrity guests
Jesse Eisenberg and Gordon Ramsay will be the first guest drivers to tackle Top Gear's race track when the BBC series returns later this month.
TV bosses were forced to make the announcement about the stars who will appear alongside co-hosts Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc in the first episode of the new-look show, after tabloid reports suggested Brad Pitt had pulled out.
A post on the programme's official Twitter account reads: "Viper vs 'Vette. UK vs USA. Jesse Eisenberg and @GordonRamsay."
Jesse and Gordon will compete in the new Star In A Rallycross Car segment, which replaces the show's Star In A Reasonably Priced Car. The celebrities will compete in a "suped up" red Mini Cooper with the added benefit of enhanced suspension, instead of the Vauxhall Astra they used to have to drive. They will also race on a new track as they try to obtain the fastest time.
A BBC spokesman also shot down reports Pitt had pulled out of an appearance on the show.
"There is no truth in this story," the BBC representative told the London Evening Standard newspaper. "We never approached Mr Pitt."
Chris and Matt have replaced longtime Top Gear hosts James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson, who departed the show last year (15).
The show has already faced a barrage of criticism, despite the fact it has yet to air, and Chris recently admitted allegations of his "volatile behaviour" on the set of the show have taken their toll.
However, he added that when it comes to the show's premiere, he isn't feeling nervous.
"There's nothing left for us to be nervous about - we've each aged a thousand years in the past ten months," he wrote in the June issue of the Top Gear magazine. "We're done. There's nothing we can do now except sit back and enjoy our favourite show."
The motoring programme was famous for its elaborate treks across the world and high octane stunts. And the new version will have the same combination of elements, Chris promised, although he added that filming such a show was an entirely new experience for him.
"I have never experienced anything in my career that comes close to what it's like to make a single film for Top Gear, let alone a whole hour show, let alone a whole series," he explained.
"There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world of TV. Every scene could be from a movie, every moment teetering on the brink somewhere between disaster and triumph."