Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement that former Friends TV star Matt LeBlanc would join BBC's Top Gear as a co-host, and a tweet seeming to indicate British motor journalist Chris Harris as another co-host, we've got news of yet another likely member of the new Top Gear team: Former Formula 1 driver and team owner, and current F1 commentator, Eddie Jordan.
, saying the Irish motorsports legend, 67, hasn't yet signed an official BBC contract but that he's expected to be officially named to the new Top Gear team within days.
"It is understood that LeBlanc was a name insisted upon by Evans with the strong backing of the Corporation's commercial arm BBC Worldwide who are keen to give the show an international appeal," , citing knowledgeable but unnamed BBC insiders.
The founder and owner of Jordan Grand Prix, a racing team which operated from 1991 to 2005, Jordan once employed such drivers as Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell, and even Michael Schumacher, the latter for his first season before he moved to Benetton. Jordan, shown above interviewing star driver Lewis Hamilton, served as BBC's chief F1 racing analyst from 2009 until last year, when the broadcaster's contract with the racing series ran out.
So, how many hosts does this leave us with for the post-Clarkson Top Gear? Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc are confirmed; Jordan and Chris Harris are assumed to be on board; the status of Sabine Schmitz, long rumored to be part of the team, is still unclear.
Why so many hosts? Back in October, we reported that Chris Evans was hesitant to directly copy the three-host format of Clarkson, Hammond and May. "If there's three of you, and you go and make a film together, suddenly you're doping what they did," Evans said at the time. "Why would you do that?"
In a report filed yesterday, of the new Top Gear, describing it as "a pyramid structure, at the very top of which–of course–will sit Evans himself." In the same report, RadioTimes claims that the BBC is very close to confirming Harris and Schmitz.
The new structure is expected to see Evans with the sole main presenter credit and Harris and Schmitz as the most regular guest presenters, followed by other members of the "family" including LeBlanc and other personalities who are expected to be named in the coming days."This is the Chris Evans show, let no-one be in any doubt about that," said a source.It is understood that the producers have also ruled out replicating the old Top Gear specials which saw the then presenting team of Clarkson, May and Hammond traveling abroad pursuing various stunts and challenges. "Chris won't have the time," said a source. "And in any case, it won't be a conventional 'team' in that sense."
As further supporting evidence, Harris tweeted recently that his popular YouTube series will be ending soon.
The revamped Top Gear, with however many dozen hosts it ends up having, is set to debut on May 8th.