U.K. radio and TV personality Chris Evans is taking over the globally popular “Top Gear” nearly three months after the British Broadcasting Corp. fired star Jeremy Clarkson following an altercation with a producer.
Evans, who presents “The Chris Evans Breakfast Show” on BBC Radio 2, signed a three-year deal to lead a new lineup for “Top Gear,” which focuses on automobiles. Production will begin within the next few weeks, the BBC said.
“I’m thrilled, ‘Top Gear’ is my favourite programme of all time,” Evans said in a BBC press release. “Created by a host of brilliant minds who love cars and understand how to make the massively complicated come across as fun, devil-may-care and effortless. ”
The BBC fired Clarkson in late March after the broadcaster had previously suspended him earlier that month. At the time, the BBC said in a report that an internal investigation concluded that Clarkson had struck producer Oisin Tymon after verbally attacking him.
Clarkson’s suspension and eventual dismissal created a firestorm among fans of the show, which has an audience of about 350 million, making it among the most popular TV series on the planet.