Wednesday 21 March 2018

Top Gear set for 'Have I Got News For You' makeover with different host each episode

James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond
Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May

Rozina Sabur

The BBC's flagship entertainment programme could be set for a Have I Got News For You? style makeover, according to reports.

The broadcaster is believed to have offered the show's two remaining presenters - James May and Richard Hammond - £1million a year to keep Top Gear going after Jeremy Clarkson's departure.

The BBC's plan is to have a different guest hosting each episode of the show along the lines of its news quiz show Have I Got News For You?, a source told the Independent.

It was rumoured the pair might quit the show after its third presenter Jeremy Clarkson was forced to leave the corporation after punching a producer.

Clarkson was suspended earlier this year after a hotel "fracas" with Oisin Tymon who suffered a split lip.

After an internal investigation, the BBC announced later the same month that his contract on the motoring show would not be renewed.

Clarkson hinted at a return to TV with James May and Richard Hammond during the trio's live tour, renamed 'Clarkson, Hammond and May Live' after Clarkson's departure from Top Gear.

 The trio performed a series of stunts with high-powered cars on their sell-out tour and Clarkson told the audience: "We've had a lot of interest in our TV show from all around the world.

"Who knows what will happen."

Yet despite their pronouncements of loyalty to Clarkson, the BBC remains hopeful that it can persuade the pair to continue on Top Gear.

Presenter Angela Rippon has also put herself forward to be the next Top Gear presenter - 38 years after she became the show's first presenter.

The former newsreader, who was the show's first presenter in 1977, says it would be "great" if the BBC invited her back to host the show following Jeremy Clarkson's departure.

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