The BBC has chosen the co-presenters that will accompany Chris Evans on Top Gear when the series gets underway in early May, reports say.
German racing driver Sabine Schmitz and motoring journalist Chris Harris are expected to accompany Evans, The Telegraph reports, with former Formula One driver David Coulthard also expected to be a regular on the show, according to The Sun.
Schmitz has a history with the show, having taken on (and defeated) Jeremy Clarkson in a race around Germany’s iconic race track the Nürburgring, where she worked as a ‘Ring taxi’ driver. She also tackled the circuit in less than ten minutes in a Ford Transit Van. Like Schmitz, Harris is also a racing driver, but is better known as a motoring journalist.
While The Telegraph cites internal BBC sources, the BBC has not yet formally commented on the new appointments.
The former team of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond (pictured below) will be making a new motoring show with Amazon.
Top Gear has had a difficult week, with executive producer Lisa Clark departing, and script editor Tom Ford choosing not to renew his contract.
The BBC thanked Clark for her “incredible work for the last five months readying new Top Gear for its busy filming schedule in 2016 and planned return in May,” and said they will appoint her replacement in due course.
Last month, meanwhile, Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon – who was verbally and physically attacked by Jeremy Clarkson – confirmed he is suing the presenter for racial discrimination.
Tymon is suing both Clarkson and the BBC for racial discrimination and personal injury. Lawyers for Tymon and the BBC were at the Central London Employment Tribunal on November 13 for a preliminary hearing. Clarkson did not appear.
Sky News reports that lawyers acting for Tymon have confirmed the case relates to “Irish insults” directed at their client.
Clarkson’s assault of Tymon led to his departure from the BBC motoring series earlier this year. The fracas is believed to have occurred after Clarkson failed to be served a steak while on location in Yorkshire filming Top Gear.
A BBC investigation found that Clarkson subjected Tymon to a 30-second physical attack, which followed a “sustained verbal tirade”. It was reported that Tymon was struck by Clarkson, “resulting in swelling and bleeding to his lip”.
The new series gets underway on May 8, 2016.