Top Gear: Chris Evans dismisses Zoe Ball rumours as 'hilariously inaccurate'

The TV presenter and radio host was reported to be in 'pole position' to join Evans as a co-host on the BBC2 motoring show

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The Independent Culture

Chris Evans has played down rumours Zoe Ball is set to join him as a co-presenter on Top Gear when the show returns to BBC2.

The Radio 2 breakfast show host said reports about Ball being brought on board for Top Gear because of evident good “chemistry” between the pair on camera were “hilariously inaccurate”.

“Re my good friend Zoe Ball excelling in Top Gear screen test. She hasn’t even been for one,” he said.

But Evans’ dismissal may not be taken seriously by some after the presenter disparaged reports he was set to join Top Gear, only to sign up for the show three months later.

“I can categorically say I am not and will NEVER be running for office. Pls discount my candidacy,” he said in March.

It was reported Ball was set to join Top Gear alongside Evans as the two presenters have known each other since the Nineties, when they appeared on Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast and had their own Radio 1 breakfast shows.

Gaby Roslin and Zoe Ball kiss Chris Evans in 1996

Ball has yet to make any comments about the allegations. A BBC spokesperson said: “We do not comment on speculation”.

Jodie Kidd was among the bookies’ favourites to replace the Top Gear threesome, but has since ruled herself out of the running.

Motorbike racer Guy Martin, actor Philip Glenister and presenter Dermot O’Leary have also been tipped to join Top Gear as a third presenter.

Zoe Ball has remained tight-lipped about the speculation

Clarkson, Hammond and May have teamed up to present their own motoring show for Amazon Prime after leaving the flagship BBC2 show following Clarkson’s dismissal by the BBC for punching a producer on set.

The trio’s new show has a £160 million budget, but it has yet to be confirmed when the series will be available on the Amazon on-demand service.