Top Gear: Zoe Ball 'first in line' to join Chris Evans as co-presenter

The radio host and TV presenter is said to have excellent 'chemistry' with Evans

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The Independent Culture

Zoë Ball is reported to be in "pole position" to join Top Gear as a new host alongside Chris Evans.

The Strictly Come Dancing stand-in presenter is said to be being lined-up by BBC bosses due to her on screen “chemistry” with Evans.

Ball, 44, and Evans, 49, have known each other since the Nineties. They both appeared – although separately – on Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast and have hosted their own Radio 1 and Radio 2 breakfast shows.

A source told The Sunday Mirror: “The chemistry between Zoe and Chris is perfect. Things immediately clicked into place and there was a lightbulb moment among producers.”

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Gaby Roslin and Zoe Ball kiss Chris Evans in 1996

Top Gear producers are reported to be keen to find a female replacement for Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, who stood down from the show after Clarkson was dismissed by the BBC  in March for punching a producer on set.

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

“Top Gear is the most brilliant show on this planet but it would take over your soul. That would be it,” she told The Telegraph, but did not rule out the possibility of Ball becoming part of the line-up.

 

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

A Top Gear spokesperson said: "We do not comment on speculation."

Clarkson, Hammond and May will present a new motoring show for Amazon Prime with a £160 million budget. It has yet to be confirmed when the series will be available on the on-demand service.

Top Gear is due to return to BBC2 in the spring of 2016.

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