Who Are the New Top Gear Presenters? Find out Here!
A Guide On Who’s Who!
Top Gear returns on Sunday with a whole new set of presenters, some of which are already known to the public, and some not so much.
Arguably the new look Top Gear’s top dog, Chris Evans was the first of the team of six to be announced. On 16 June 2015 the BBC announced the 50-year-old would join the show on a three-year deal as the main presenter. Known for his presenting work, Evans currently hosts the Chris Evans Breakfast show on Radio 2. His broadcast career started in 1983 with Piccadilly Radio in Manchester, and continued to hosting a morning show on GLR and an afternoon show on Radio 1. In 1992 he left radio to join Channel 4 show the Big Breakfast, but left two years later to form his own television production company. In 1995 Evans returned to radio, hosting the Radio 1 Breakfast Show in a controversial stint, ending in Evans quitting. It was followed by a troublesome time at Virgin Radio, before a successful career with Radio 2. In 2010 Evans joined the One Show but quit in 2015 to focus on Top Gear. Cheshire-born Evans is known to be a big fan of cars having notably purchased a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO for £12 million in 2010.
American born Matt LeBlanc is most famous for his role as Joey Tribbiani in the hit American sitcom Friends. LeBlanc featured in a Heinz Tomato Ketchup advert and various music videos for Jon Bon Jovi and Alanis Morrissette, before successfully playing ‘Joey’ for 12 years, including two seasons of the spinoff show Joey. Le Blanc also featured in Charlie’s Angels amongst other films. Following the cancellation of Joey, LeBlanc took a five year hiatus from acting returning as a fictionalised version of himself for BBC show Episodes. The 48-year-old has previously featured in Top Gear, notably in 2012 when he set the fastest time in the ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ segment, recording a time of one minute and 42.1 seconds in a Kia Cee’d.
The only woman in the new line-up, and perhaps one of the most qualified of the new presenters. Born in the town of Adenau, Germany, Schmitz grew up close to the famous Nürburgring, so it’s no surprise the 47-year-old became a professional race driver. Schmitz has forged a successful career as an esteemed race driver, which included becoming the first woman to win a major 24 hour race, when she won the 24 Hours Nürburgring in 1996 driving a BMW M3. Further success on the Nürburgring earned Schmitz the nickname ‘Queen of the Nürburgring’. Her TV credentials are just as strong, and she’s often a guest motorsport commentator, having previously hosted D Motor, a German motor show. Schmitz is no stranger to Top Gear fans, having featured in series 5 and 11 respectively, famously beating Jeremy Clarkson’s Nürburgring lap time by 47 seconds, and almost matching it in a Ford Transit van.
The 68-year-old is another new presenter with a rich history in both motorsport and presenting. Dublin born Eddie Jordan started his motorsport career in the Irish Kart Championship winning it in 1971. He moved to Formula Ford in 1974 before moving to Formula Three a year later, then moving to Formula Atlantic, after an injury, winning the Irish Formula Atlantic Championship in 1978. A year later he raced as Team Ireland in British Formula Three and took part in one Formula Two race. In 1979 he founded Eddie Jordan Racing, seeing success in 1987 when Johnny Herbert won the British Formula Three Championship. In 1991 he founded Jordan Grand Prix, giving Michael Schumacher his Formula 1 debut. The team had a period of success in the late nineties when Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher placed first and second respectively at the Belgian Grand Prix, and a year later Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished third in the championship. After selling his team in 2005 Jordan returned to F1 as a pundit for BBC Sport. In 2012 Jordan received an honorary OBE for his charity work and services to motor racing.
Both a racing car driver and a motoring journalist, Chris Harris is one of the lesser known new Top Gear presenters. He started his career with Autocar magazine, lasting until 2008 when he cofounded Drivers Republic, but the venture lasted only a year. Harris then moved to Evo magazine, where he has continued to produce articles and reviews, bar a four year period between 2011 and 2015. Like many of his fellow presenters the 41-year-old has extensive experience being behind the camera, having started his own YouTube series with /DRIVE in 2012, called /CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS. After gaining 3,500,000 views in two years, he left to create his own channel, Chris Harris on Cars. Harris’ reviews have previously got him in hot water with two manufactures, both Ferrari and Lamborghini banning him from reviewing their cars in the past. Harris is no stranger to the race track either, finishing fourth in the 2010 edition of the 24 Hours Nürburgring in a Porsche 911.
Relatively unknown to the general public, Rory Reid is the only new presenter to get the gig after going through the open auditions. The 36-year-old has been a journalist for almost 20 years covering cars and technology. The latter of which is most recognisable for, having presented Sky TV’s Gadget Geeks in 2012 and worked on BBC Radio 5’s Saturday Edition. London-born Reid is currently the editor-in-chief for automotive and technology website Recombu. His presenting work stretches to YouTube, presenting YouTube channel Fast, Furious and Funny which will expectedly put him in good stead for his new Top Gear role.
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