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Philip Glenister is Favourite To Replace Clarkson

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As the drama reaches its final conclusions, an unfancied rookie draws into shot in the leaders' rear-view mirrors, rapidly gaining speed. Could the outsider take a glorious victory in the Top Gear presenters race, beating their rivals by inches to take the chequered flag?

Enough of the car metaphors: the headline news is that Philip Glenister, famous for playing DCI Gene Hunt in Life on Mars and Ashes To Ashes, is the new favourite to replace Jeremy Clarkson as host of the much-loved BBC motoring show.

Following a report in The Sun on Sunday that he had been approached by the BBC, his odds have come in to 2/1 with bookies, ahead of Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins and Dermot O'Leary - who recently left his job as host of The X Factor after eight series.

Our previous look at the runners and riders saw Jodie Kidd, Chris Evans, Steve Coogan and Stephen Fry mentioned - Coogan winning the support of ShortList readers. However, the fact that Richard Hammond and James May are both currently out-of-contract adds up to a feeling that no one really knows what is going to happen: there could be a new approach with three new presenters, or it could still be a straight swap for Clarkson.

If it is to be the latter, then Glenister would make a lot of sense: his character Gene Hunt had a fondness for rather politically-incorrect views, in addition to presenting the Channel 4 show For The Love Of Cars last year, with a second series due to begin on 19 April.

Meanwhile, Clarkson, who was let go from the BBC following a violent incident involving a producer and a steak dinner, has pulled out of his remaining commitment with the corporation - presenting an episode of Have I Got News For You. Petrolheads everywhere will be awaiting his next move while also hoping that his previous show can make the right decision.

(Image: Rex)

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