With Chris Evans quitting as co-host of Top Gear after just one series it has left the BBC with a big dilemma as to who to replace him with in order to restore the viewing figures that predecessor Jeremy Clarkson had. There are many options that have been mooted in the press and we will run the rule over the candidates to see who would increase the profile of the show.
The former Friends star has co-hosted the show with Evans this year, and whilst his partner suffered a lot of criticism, LeBlanc grew into the role and was a hit with many of the viewers. As well as that, Evans left with a ringing endorsement of his old colleague, describing him as the ‘captain Top Gear needs’. With his influence expanded throughout the first series, fans would welcome the idea of LeBlanc taking full control, as he has a clear knowledge of love for all things to do with cars and is a natural in front of the camera, so in many ways he would represent a risk-free choice for the producers.
However, if the BBC appoint another co-host they would risk the pair not having the same chemistry, so it may be easier to let LeBlanc leave and start the show fresh again. Plus, LeBlanc may want a big say in who his potential partner will be, and will they afford him that?
The well-known chef and millionaire, Martin was considered a front-runner to be a part of the current show before the series started, however that didn’t materialise. Yet, his name is still cropping up as he is now once again one of the favourites to replace Evans. If you are feeling lucky you can take a punt on him to get his dream job, but a safer bet may be to have a spin on the roulette with Lucky Nugget Casino instead as many feel Martin will forever be the TV chef and the transition would be too much.
That’s because despite his well-known love for cars, particularly Ferrari’s, Martin was rumoured to have fallen out with the bosses of the show after he was snubbed last time out. So although he would bring fresh ideas and has proven he can interact with TV audiences in the past, has he burned his bridges with the powers that be?
The model turned presenter was another who was heavily linked with the post in the past and said it wasn’t for her, but would she be tempted this time round? Kidd has a passion for cars and as well as racing at several rally events in the past and also held the fastest celebrity lap on one of the early series of the original show! Again another with experience in front of the camera, she would fit effortlessly into the presenting role and would certainly bring a bit of glamour to the show.
However, after having discussions with producers before, she realised the role wasn’t for her because it would be time consuming and take over your life, which is fair. So, will she have the desire to put everything on hold in order to revitalise the show?
Well for a start, the F1 driver clearly knows about his cars, and has also been a hit on the show previously. Button was involved in the second episode of the current series and received a very positive reaction from the British public for his role in the show. He is articulate and has built up a large fan base amongst F1 fans for his ability on the track over the years, so he would be sure to attract the viewers initially, and we are sure he’d have no issues putting the cars to the test on the roads.
However, how realistic is it that he would leave F1 to pursue a TV career? Although talks have yet to begin with McLaren over a new contract for next year. So, whilst it would be a risky move on his behalf, perhaps over the long terms it is an idea that appeals to Button and this is an opportunity that may not arise again. But, whilst he was a brilliant guest on the show, presenting it would be a different task altogether for the 36-year old.
Martin apparently turned down the role to be Top Gear presenter before it was handed to Evans last year, so what would make him change his mind this time? If he could be convinced however, the former motorcycle star would surely fit in to the role with ease. He has various TV experiences and comes across well on the camera, combined with his extensive knowledge for all things with wheels makes him an ideal candidate. On top of that, Martin has built up a wide network of fans, producing a number one bestselling autobiography.
However, would the producers go back to a man that has turned them down, and more importantly, has the situation changed? Martin cited his love for his everyday job in Grimsby and that it was hard enough to fit in the relatively small TV work he did back then, so changing his mind could be difficult.
Whoever is the next presenter of Top Gear, they will have a tough job on their hands. Ex-host Jeremy Clarkson is releasing his own show which will no doubt intensify the pressure on the next presenter of his old show. For producers it is about finding the right person for the job, which they clearly failed to do in Chris Evans.
Whether it is another co-host alongside LeBlanc or a new direction entirely, whoever takes the reigns of Top Gear will have a big job to reignite the show with its fallen fan base and restore it to the high levels its predecessors had.