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When Top Gear returns to the BBC, it’s going to look a whole lot different than it did in years past. The network made this abundantly clear when they signed on radio host Chris Evans as the leading man on the popular series. For a while, it looked as if he might be hosting solo in the new series, but new reports indicate that the BBC is sticking with a few additional TV personalities when the series re-launches. In addition to the formerly announced David Coulthard, Sabine Schmitz and Chris Harris have been added to Top Gear.
If you don’t know much about the additional individuals, you’re not alone. Sabine Schmitz is a German racing driver and motorsport commentator. If you’ve been watching Top Gear for the last several years, you may have already seen the lady appear on the long-running automobile series, where she once beat Hammond in a lap. Basically, the BBC program shouldn’t be super foreign to her.
Chris Harris, on the other hand, is a journalist who has both written and presented on camera—exactly the type that could be a good fit for Top Gear. We mostly think this because he actually has his own YouTube page called "Chris Harris on Cars;" still, he’s relatively unknown.
Deadline notes that some bigger names had been bandied about related to the show, including Zoe Ball and others, but obviously that’s not the direction the BBC wants to go in at this juncture. Ball’s a TV and radio personality, like Evans, but I have no idea what her skill sets and knowledge are when it comes to driving and cars.
So, instead of featuring three people the new Top Gear will have four at its disposal, including Coulthard, who is a former Formula One driver. That’s not all that’s changing. It’s entirely possible that Top Gear may no longer be the big car show on the air, as Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond have all signed on with Amazon to produce a new show that will also be about cars. Obviously, not everyone subscribes to Amazon Prime, but our eyes are going to be peeled as the old gang and the new gang try to make a go of it. Both have advantages. Hammond and co. already have a major fanbase, but Top Gear gets to keep stuff like "The Stig" and has a wide TV audience to draw from. The race to the top should be interesting to watch.
We'll let you know when both programs nab a premiere date. In the meantime, here's what is coming to TV this winter.