Chris Evans making 'secret Top Gear film' this week despite saying he would 'never' replace Jeremy Clarkson

The Radio 1 DJ let slip that he will be filming a 'Top Gear sequence' on Tuesday

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The Independent Culture

Chris Evans is making a "secret Top Gear film" this week, despite denying strong rumours that he will replace Jeremy Clarkson as presenter of the BBC motoring series.

The Radio1 DJ said that he would "never" take over after bosses decided against renewing Clarkson's contract following a "fracas" over hot food left a producer in A&E in March.

But now Evans, who was among the instant favourites to fill Clarkson's shoes, said he will soon be filming a "Top Gear sequence" with an independent production company.

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The former Top Gear trio are on their live tour

Channel 4's Sunday Brunch presenter Tim Lovejoy quizzed Evans on whether he had started to present Top Gear yet, to which Evans replied: "Not started yet, but we are doing a secret Top Gear film on Tuesday."

Lovejoy joked that the exciting plan was "not so secret" anymore but Evans, who is making a one-off return with TFI Friday this week, went on: "It still will be, because nobody knows where it's going to be but we're going to make one and see how it goes.

"We're making a Top Gear - we're doing a Top Gear sequence with an independent production company and we're going to see how it goes."

BBC director general Tony Hall made the difficult decision to end Clarkson's Top Gear tenure after ruling that there "cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another".

It is still unclear what will happen to the highly lucrative show after it was reported that co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May have been offered deals in the region of £1 million a year to stay on for a new series without Clarkson.

That deal, which would make the pair among the corporation's highest earners, is said to involve introducing different guest hosts each week similar to the format of Have I Got News For You?, rather than directly replacing Clarkson.

The trio's contracts ran out earlier this year and it remains in doubt whether Hammond and May will go back on previous statements suggesting they would not host Top Gear with an "awks surrogate Jeremy".

Andy Wilman, Top Gear's former executive producer and an old school friend of Clarkson also left the show, sparking rumours he was joining up with all three men to make an alternative programme. Netflix and ITV are among the broadcasters rumoured to be in the running to screen it.

When contacted about Evans' comments the BBC said they will not be commenting on "speculation".

(Additional reporting: Press Association)

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