BBC boss denies Jeremy Clarkson was offered return to Top Gear

BBC director general Tony Hall has denied any knowledge of claims that Jeremy Clarkson was secretly offered a return as Top Gear host.

Clarkson made claims to the contrary in his Sun column, where he also dropped heavy hints that he might be working with other broadcasters on a new car show.

Chris Evans, meanwhile, has signed a three-year deal to be the new host of Top Gear, the BBC announced recently.

Live updates

BBC boss denies Clarkson was offered Top Gear return

Jeremy Clarkson was not offered his job back, it is claimed Credit: Adam Davy / PA Wire

BBC director general Tony Hall has denied any knowledge of claims that Jeremy Clarkson was secretly offered a return as Top Gear host.

Clarkson was sacked earlier this year after he punched producer Oisin Tymon in a row over a steak dinner.

But he told the Sun he met an unnamed BBC executive days before Chris Evans was announced as the new host.

Lord Hall told Andrew Marr: "I have no idea what that's all about. "Sadly, and I say sadly, because I think Jeremy Clarkson is an extraordinary talent, I announced we were parting company some months ago. I am thrilled Chris Evans has got the job."

Jeremy Clarkson drops hints on Top Gear rival show

Credit: Philip Toscano / PA Wire

Sacked Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has dropped the biggest hint yet that he might be developing a car show to rival his old employer.

Writing in The Sun, Clarkson admitted that he missed the BBC, but said "I won't miss making a car show".

He added: "Because other broadcasters are available so I don't have to stop doing that. See you on the flipside."

Clarkson, who left the BBC after punching a producer in a row over a meal, has long been rumoured to be in talks with various other broadcasters - including ITV - but until now hasn't spoken out himself.

Advertisement

Chris Evans 'excited' to be taking over Top Gear

Chris Evans has told journalists he is "very excited" to be taking over as presenter of the BBC's Top Gear motoring programme.

Speaking from his car outside New Broadcasting House in central London, the broadcaster said he was excited to be taking on the role, but there was no shortlist for his co-presenters.

"It's a very long list." Mr Evans said.

Evans also told Radio 5 Live's Nicky Campbell that he could "100% confirm" he would have a female co-star "but not for the sake of it".

Advertisement

Clarkson and gang lead applause for Chris Evans

A 2006 file photo of broadcaster Chris Evans. Credit: PA

Newly-appointed Top Gear presenter Chris Evans is meeting with show bosses today to get to work - as he revealed Jeremy Clarkson was among the first to congratulate him on getting the job.

Evans told his listeners on his BBC Radio 2 show he was only offered the job last Thursday afternoon when presenters Richard Hammond and James May finally ruled themselves out of returning to the programme.

He said he immediately texted the three presenters, Clarkson, May and Hammond, to tell them he had been offered the job and accepted it, and they lined up to congratulate him.

Evans told his listeners Clarkson said "I knew you would and best of luck" while he revealed he also got Hammond's seal of approval.

Chris Evans asks listeners for Top Gear ideas

The TV presenter has signed a three-year deal to become the new host of Top Gear Credit: PA

Listeners to the Chris Evans breakfast show have suggested that the outgoing presenters of Top Gear could start a new 'star in a reasonably priced car' leaderboard when the DJ takes over.

Evans, who was announced as the new Top Gear host yesterday, invited his listeners to call in to give him some tips on what he should do with the show.

Evans said: "If you were in charge of a really well-known successful car programme, what might you do with it in the future? Let's start work here and now, people."

When one listener suggested he invite Clarkson to take part in the popular segment 'star in a reasonably priced car', Evans eagerly agreed.

He added:

That's a good idea. What about all three of them in the reasonably priced car?

They go up against each other and they start a brand new leaderboard.

– Chris Evans
Back to top

Latest ITV News reports