Evans, who has been the favourite to replace Clarkson since his dismissal in March, denied he was taking on hosting duties at the time, tweeting: “I can categorically say I am not and will NEVER be running for office. Pls discount my candidacy.”
The Radio 2 DJ told his breakfast show listeners he had not wanted to get caught up in an ongoing public “game” involving his friends Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, at a time when their futures were undecided.
“I did not want to be involved in bookies’ odds, that’s not what the situation needed. I had to get out of that madness, let other people get involved in that,” he said.
Re @SkyNews Top Gear debate. I can categorically say I am not and will NEVER be running for office. Pls discount my candidacy. .— Chris Evans (@achrisevans) March 11, 2015
Evans said he was only offered the job last week, and had contacted Clarkson and the show’s former presenters Hammond and May by text before making the announcement.
Chris Evans: Career in pictures
Chris Evans: Career in pictures
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Chris Evans in a studio, 1980s
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(L-R) Gaby Roslin, Chris Evans, Paula Yates and Mark Lamarr on Big Breakfast TV Show, 1992
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Chris Evans on the day of his 30th birthday, in London, 1996
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Chris Evans in 1997
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Chris Evans of England wears a policeman's hat having fun with Mark O'Meara captain of the USA team on the range before the fourball matches on the first day of All-Star Cup on the Roman Road Course at The Celtic Manor Resor in Newport, 2005
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Chris Evans and Ronan Keating arrive at the Gala Dinner on the first day of the Northern Rock All Star Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, 2006
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Chris Evans poses in the awards room with the Music Radio Personality of the Year Award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards 2007 at Grosvenor House Hotel in London
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Chris Evans presents during 'Thank You For The Music - A Celebration Of The Music Of Abba' at Hyde Park in London, 2009
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Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans and David Cameron appear on the Andrew Marr show on BBC TV in London, 2010
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Chris Evans and Moira Stuart during Chris Evans' first day as the host of the Breakfast show, the position he took over from Sir Terry Wogan, 2011
Mark Allan/BBC/PA Wire
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Chris Evans interviews Luke Darlington (L) Prince Harry and JJ Chalmersfor his breakfast show at BBC Radio 2 Studios in London, 2014
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Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans attends the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco, 2015
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Chris Evans with Jeremy Clarkson outside BBC Radio 2 Studios, 2015
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Chris Evans meets Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, following the launch of BBC Radios 2's '500 Words', a children's story writing competition which is supported by the duchess, in the Morning Room at Clarence House in London, 2015
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Chris Evans at the celebrity start at The London Marathon 2015 in London
Hammond and May have endorsed Evans as the new face of Top Gear. Hammond texted the radio DJ back to say: “You were designed and built for that job and it will be great. It was always the BBC’s very best option if you take it up, and I certainly don’t blame you for doing so. Good luck. Richard.”
May tweeted last night to wish Evans good luck in the job, calling the BBC’s decision “a ballsy call, frankly, and to be admired.”
Well: best of luck to @achrisevans and the future of Top Gear (b. 1977). That's a ballsy call, frankly, and to be admired.— James May (@MrJamesMay) June 16, 2015
Evans said Clarkson texted him back to say “I knew you would” and gave him a piece of advice "that he couldn't repeat on the radio".
In an official statement confirming Evans as the new Top Gear host, he said: “I promise I will do everything I possibly can to respect what has gone on before and take the show forward.”
The replacements for Hammond and May have yet to be announced. Jodie Kidd and Dermot O’Leary are thought to be among the favourites to front the new line-up alongside Evans.
Top Gear will return for 18 more shows next year, starting in March or April.