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'Top Gear' gets a new host to replace Jeremy Clarkson

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Ian West/PA/AP/File

(Read caption) The BBC says its hit automotive TV show 'Top Gear' will return to the airwaves with a new host replacing scandal-tainted Jeremy Clarkson. The broadcaster says radio and TV personality Chris Evans has signed a three-year deal to lead a new lineup for the show, which has won a huge following with its mix of car tips, driving stunts and jokey banter. (Ian West/PA via AP, File)

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It's official: Chris Evans, a British television and radio personality, and a LaFerrari owner, has been named as Jeremy Clarkson's replacement as the host of Top Gear.  

The news was announced earlier today via Twitter.

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Venerable BBC presenter Evans is already familiar to British audiences from popular programs shows like TFI Friday and The Big Breakfast, and signed a deal which will make him the leader of the show for the next three years. Speculation now turns to who will join him in hosting duties, with ex-model Jodie Kidd, motorcycle racer Guy Martin and actor Philip Glenister reportedly on the short list.

But regardless of who is picked for Top Gear's next iteration, the trio will have unprecedented competition from Clarkson, Hammond and May—who are almost certainly developing a show for Netflix.

Given the resumes of both hosting lineups, the real winners here will be fans of irreverent, hilarious and occasionally informative car shows. Because in that regard, two is definitely better than one. More news when we have it. 

Recently, the BBC released a teaser trailer for a special episode of Top Gear that will round out the current season 22 of the popular car-themed show and, more importantly, be the last to feature Jeremy Clarkson. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past several months, Clarkson was fired from the BBC back in March for his altercation with producer Oisin Tymon.

Despite no longer working there, Clarkson recently returned to the BBC to do some voiceover work for his final Top Gear episode. A BBC spokesperson confirmed the news to The Week, and explained that Clarkson wasn’t paid for the job and that he is still free to appear on BBC shows despite having been fired by the company.

“[Jeremy Clarkson] has done the voiceover for Top Gear,” the spokesperson said. “He came in to the BBC the week before last.”

The BBC still hasn’t confirmed when the final Clarkson-era Top Gear episode will be screened but it is expected to be sometime in the next few weeks. It will contain two segments shot before Clarkson was fired, with the rest of the episode expected to mostly feature co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May in the studio. There were previously meant to be three more episodes for season 22.

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As for future seasons, a handful of British celebs have been speculated as new hosts and there’s also been talk of a different host appearing each episode. At the same time, it’s been reported that Hammond and May have been offered seven-figure deals to continue with the show but many believe they’ll stick with Clarkson and turn the offers down.

Meanwhile, the famous trio are still working together on the series of Top Gear Live shows, now referred to as "Clarkson, Hammond, and May Live". Rumors are abound that all three hosts may be moving to Netflix to start a new show called "House of Cars", but no confirmation has been received from any of the parties.