When will the new Top Gear start? Date for latest series revealed

Chris Evans has said he is "terrified" by his new job

Kashmira Gander
Tuesday 06 October 2015 21:10 BST
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Chris Evans has hinted that The Stig will return in the latest series
Chris Evans has hinted that The Stig will return in the latest series (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

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Louise Thomas

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Top Gear fans waiting for the hugely popular motoring show to return to their screens must wait intil spring 2016.

The first new episodes to be made since controversial presenter Jeremy Clarkson was sacked for punching will starting airing on BBC Two from May 2016.

Fellow former Top Gear hosts Richard Hammond and James May left the programme after Mr Clarkson’s departure, leaving a gap which was eventually filled by BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans.

It's the biggest job I've ever had in my life

&#13; <p>Chris Evans</p>&#13;

Mr Evans has signed a three-year contract, which will see him make two series consisting of eight episodes.

He is tasked with maintaining the estimated global audience of 350million people who watch the show around the world, which earned Top Gear the Guiness Book of Records title of "most widely watched factual television programme".

Amid speculation as to who will replace Mr Hammond and Mr May, Mr Evans has suggested that the programme may not carry on the three-presenter format.

“We are going to do things differently, because we have to, we want to,” he said.

"And also, the second you wander off into the 'Well, I'm the main host, and this is my mate over here and my mate over here, if there's three of you and you go and make a film together, suddenly you're doing what they did. Why would you do that?"

Praising the former presenters as “brilliant” at working as a trio, he said: “I'm not going to do that.”

“They're the Three Stooges, they are the Bee Gees, they are that and I'm not, I'm me. I'm a solo artist at the moment, I'm on my own, so do I form a band or not?"

But he didn’t cast aside the idea of fans taking up the position, after he previously requested short audition tapes from the public.

"We've screen tested some people from the videos at the Top Gear studio so some people who sent those videos in have reached the final stages," he said.

Mr Evans went on to say that the show’s format of four links and three VTs would be scrapped, but didn’t say with what.

After taking photos with the Stig at the annual trade show MIPCOM (International Market of Communications Programmes) in Cannes, he said: ”I don't want to say anything specific, but The Stig is here today... that might be a clue as to whether he's here tomorrow.“

Mr Evans went on to admit that he was “terrified” of taking on the job, which he described as “formidable.”

"It's the biggest job I've ever had in my life," he said.

"Of course, I still am terrified, you have to be, and if you're not then you're not the right person for the job."

Additional reporting by PA

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