Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

BBC boss says they’re not looking for another Top Gear frontman

topgearnewold.jpg

As we continue to await the unveiling of The Grand Tour - Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May's new, erm, vehicle - the BBC is left to pick over the bones of the bruising experience that was the first series of Top Gear without the presenters that were synonymous with it.

After former director-general Mark Thompson suggested that the BBC should have fought harder to keep Clarkson on board instead of sacking him for punching a producer in 2015, now Mark Linsey, head of the BBC's newly-created production arm BBC Studios, has outlined what the future may hold for the show following the disappointment of the last series which was headed up by the now-departed Chris Evans.

Talking to The Guardian, Linsey explained, “Top Gear was a phenomenon, but it certainly didn’t start as a phenomenon. It grew over time. When you are trying something new, albeit with a well-known format, but certainly with a new cast, it is going to take time.

“If you look at the first series of the Clarkson era it didn’t even have James May in it. It took 10 years to grow and the new Top Gear needs time to grow. It certainly didn’t surprise me it didn’t do the audience figures of the previous series.”

When questioned whether they were looking for another 'frontman' for the series, he answered definitively: “No we are not at the moment. [The new Top Gear] was built around an ensemble. Matt LeBlanc was an important part of that ensemble. Clearly the viewers enjoyed Matt LeBlanc, and we want him to come back. Clearly they enjoyed the other Chris [Harris], and Rory [Reid] – they have told us that. All the elements were there of an ensemble rather than just focusing it on Chris [Evans], and I think that is evident in the way that we produced it. There will be change, but we will be building on the characters that worked, ie Rory, Chris and Matt LeBlanc.”

So in the words of Tony Hayers, it looks like the future direction of the show will be 'evolution not revolution'. In fact, it seems that once again, Partridge predicted the future back in 1997 once again:

Alan: I loved that phrase you used, it was very clever – ‘Revolution not evolution'. 

Tony: No, it was the opposite. ‘Evolution not revolution'. 

Alan: Well whatever. Because that is me. I ‘evolve', but I don't… ‘revolve'... Or vice-versa. I suppose what you're trying to say is, you don't want another Chris Evans on your hands. 

Tony: No, that is what we want. 

Alan: I'm your man.

Related

thegrandtour.jpg

Grand Tour producer reveals all about Top Gear, the BBC & Clarkson

clarkson.jpg

Ex-BBC chief admits they should have tried to keep Clarkson

grantoursteeringwheel.jpg

New Grand Tour clip features a truly ridiculous James May story

Comments

More

Someone's discovered a £1 million item on 'Antiques Roadshow'

The world's dullest show just got interesting...

by Carl Anka
23 Jun 2017

Making a Murderer's Brendan Dassey moves one step closer to freedom

Will he finally get out?

by Dave Fawbert
23 Jun 2017

Here's your first look at the new zones on 'The Crystal Maze'

It's back on TV this week

by Tom Victor
22 Jun 2017

Does the new 'Game of Thrones' trailer hint at Jon Snow dying again?

It sounds ominous

by Alex Finnis
22 Jun 2017

BBC News screw-up accidentally airs two minutes of silence

No news is good news

by Dave Fawbert
21 Jun 2017

'Sherlock' writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat making 'Dracula' show

This is going to be massive

by Alex Finnis
21 Jun 2017

Friends creator finally responds to that dark Phoebe fan theory

Marta Kauffman has addressed the dark theory that Phoebe is a delusional homeless woman

by Emily Reynolds
20 Jun 2017

How many of these 30 'Big Brother' contestants can you name?

Take a trip down reality TV memory lane

by Gary Ogden
20 Jun 2017

Who is Britain’s hardest TV chef?

We make them fight to the death to find out

by Sam Diss
20 Jun 2017

Josh didn't invite Drake to his wedding and it's heartbreaking

Snub me, brotha

by Alex Finnis
20 Jun 2017