Hooniverse Asks: Should Somebody Replace Chris Evans on Top Gear?

Well, that didn’t last long. As we all saw on Monday, Chris Evans is out as the lead ginger on Top Gear. That leaves the show pretty rudderless seeing as the next biggest name on the broadcast is Matt LeBlanc and he, through no fault of his own, is an American.
Evans spent much of his time on the recently wrapped series trying to balance the old—the Stig, the studio, etc.—with the new—new hosts, new track, new shouting—and it all seemed to be… pretty mediocre. Now, it was a thankless job having to come in to replace the three lovable buffoons that were the show’s previous hosts, especially since it was getting tired at times even with them. Now, he’s facing some pretty serious charges and the Beeb says that the show is LaBlanc’s to drive as solo lead into series 2. Still, I think someone has to come in and clean up the mess that Evans has wrought. Do you agree, and if so, who do you think that should be?
Image: The Guardian

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  1. Kiefmo Avatar

    Rory would be great in-studio, I think. I’ll bet he and goofball Matt would have decent chemistry.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      This, absolutely. The quick chats Rory and Matt have had post-segment have shown a lot of promise.

  2. engineerd Avatar

    Bring Rory and Sabine (*sigh*) in studio more along with Matt. Interestingly, this would me 2/3 of the leads of a British motoring show are…not British.

    1. jeepjeff Avatar

      More British than BMC these days.

  3. karonetwentyc Avatar

    Not really surprised. At this rate, I’d expect the show to flounder heavily over the course of the remaining series then die or end up on life support after a renewal that lasts another year at best.
    Unless the BBC manages to figure out a way to find talent with the same chemistry as Clarkson, May, and Hammond, the present format just won’t work; much of the show’s success was predicated around their interaction with each other and the environment around them. Some retooling might help, but for now its chances aren’t looking good.
    Of course, they could always fill the slot with repeats of old Top Gear streamed straight off of YouTube. I’d be much more interested in a 1989 review of the Peugeot 309 GRD than the current series, to be sure.

    1. engineerd Avatar

      I think Chris Evans was a long shot to begin with. The Beeb chose him because he was already well known on the radio and TV and they probably hoped he would bring in viewers. Of course, he’s a prima dona and annoying as hell, so that didn’t work.
      Give it time. TG:US floundered for a season and a half until the cast started to find their own chemistry and a format that worked with that chemistry. Now it’s a fun show with it’s own “feel”. It seems the new TG:UK cast is starting to find their own chemistry. They need to maybe let go of some of the old format and do something new and fresh, but that will happen in time as the cast and writers figure out their direction.

      1. karonetwentyc Avatar

        Fair points, and I’m willing to admit that I may be sounding the death knell a bit too early for the current iteration of the show. It just hasn’t really felt like it was particularly cohesive since the departure of the other three, but, then again, it did take some time to get the well-known format together. The lineup changed after the first series, and the show itself was modified over the course of a few years until it managed widestream success.
        As an aside, I don’t know if I’m the only one who remembers this or not, but BBC America’s first attempt at launching Top Gear in the US market about a dozen or so years ago can only be described as awful. Certain segments reviewing cars not available in North America were removed, captions were added at the bottom of the screen with patronising bits of information like ‘£1000 is $1500′ and ”Boot’ means ‘trunk”, and odd link segments specific to the US version were filmed and awkwardly spliced in. So glad they relaunched it unaltered a year or two later.

        1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

          Did that first attempt for TG in the US air on like the Discovery Channel as well? I recall watching it back in high school.

          1. karonetwentyc Avatar

            You know, I’m not actually certain if it did or not. My recollection is that it was on BBC America, but it’s possible that I’m misremembering. Don’t think I am… But it wouldn’t be the first time, either.

  4. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    Should one of the other hosts move into the “main” host position? Perhaps.
    Should the BBC bring in another host to fill the “void” left by Evans’ departure? No.
    Based on the current hosting structure, the lead would go to LeBlanc, but I’m not sure how the American taking the lead on so British of a show would go over.

  5. Alff Avatar

    Chris Haining

  6. crank_case Avatar

    Petrolhead perspective – don’t replace him, LeBlanc is just fine as the lead, give the others more space, let things just breath and develop organically
    Ratings perspective – nick Fiona Bruce from The Antiques Roadshow (yes, this is prime time stuff on the other Beeb channel in the same timeslot some weeks, it’s even outrated top gear at times) and absolutely monster Sunday night ratings.
    Bit of history repeating too, after all original antiques roadshow presenter Angela Rippon presented Top Gear back in the days when it was all sensible consumer advice delivered in a paternal knowing sort of manner with exuberance limited to a Quentin Wilson style raised eybrow or Woolarding (google it) the front bumper.

  7. The Real Number_Six Avatar
    The Real Number_Six

    Should somebody the bubonic plague a small dog a sock puppet replace Chris Evans on Top Gear?

  8. Batshitbox Avatar

    How ’bout a dead horse?
    They could blather and quip and bloviate for a while, then all turn to the foetid, dissolving once vital and proud corpse and flog it mercilessly; jump in whatever car they’re drooling over and go flog that for a while, too!

  9. Ayreonaut Avatar

    Jeff Walker from carcass

  10. JayP Avatar

    Doesn’t matter. Everyone is watching MCM…. or Roadkill before the paywall.

  11. Zentropy Avatar

    As far as I’m concerned, LeBlanc– while not as annoying as Evans– is just as big a dud. He looks bored and disinterested, and honestly a bit amateurish. Harris, given his experience, has more knowledge, though I’ve always found him somewhat pretentious. I like Rory and Sabine, though.

  12. Cragon McBride Avatar
    Cragon McBride

    People watch Top Gear for the interaction. I think having a solo host kills that. Chris Harris can hold his own in front of a camera, give him a promotion and keep it in house. Maybe bring in someone else as well to add to dynamic.

  13. Douche_McGee Avatar

    Yes, me.

  14. Kyle Allen Avatar

    Top Gear UK has is now as bad or even worse then the US version, and the US version is just terrible.

  15. mr smee Avatar
    mr smee

    If they bring in a ‘star’ host, then they look like they are floundering (which they are) and the other hosts will be slighted and likely quit. Let LeBlanc assume a framing role on the show and give Reid, Harris, Schmitz more meat. Or, bring in that crazy short-haired woman from that baking show.

  16. Vairship Avatar

    I suppose Clive James would have been a good fit if he’d been a bit younger. But really, they replaced three hosts with six, so they can probably afford to drop some of them.

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