Top Gear has gone from a triumvirate of presenters to a full house, with the show confirming its final lineup of seven presenters today. Last week, it was announced that actor Matt LeBlanc would be Top Gear's new co-host alongside British presenter Chris Evans, adding, in the words of one anonymous BBC source, "a boost when selling [the show] internationally, particularly in the US where it is due to air on BBC America."
"resonate with every type of Top Gear viewer"
The "magnificent seven from motoring heaven" as Evans has dubbed the new presenters, are designed to broaden Top Gear's appeal to new audiences. "The new team will cover the entire automotive spectrum and bring with them their own unique and very individual love of cars that will resonate with every type of Top Gear viewer," said the BBC in a press release. "From the family who enjoy the entertainment values of the show, to aspirational car lovers and fanatical petrolheads."
Here are the the presenters, with some of the more bombastic quotes from the BBC:
- Rory Reid — A journalist recruited to Top Gear via the show's public auditions. Perhaps the least-known of the new cohort, he's previously presented CNET's Car Tech channel as well as Sky 1's Gadget Geeks series. (Here's his spoken word poetry review of the Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II.)
- Sabine Schmitz — A professional German racing driver for BMW and Porsche, dubbed the "Queen of the Nürburgring" for her expertise on her home country's most famous racetrack.
- Matt LeBlanc — Actor. American. Definitely not just "Joey from Friends," but also definitely Joey from Friends. Holds the fastest lap time on Top Gear's "Star in a reasonably-priced car."
- Chris Evans — A bit of a controversial choice, at least for the UK audience. He's a seasoned presenter on both TV and radio, but his cheeky, chirpy manner isn't to everyone's liking.
- Chris Harris — A motoring journalist and presenter for publications including Autocar, Jalopnik, and YouTube channel /Drive. A man "whose very name sends shivers through many car manufacturers' boardrooms," says the BBC.
- Eddie Jordan — An Irish racing driver and former Formula One team owner who "comes armed with a trademark no-nonsense, richly experienced view of the motoring world."
- The Stig — Well, you can't argue with that all-white racing suit. The Stig's only public statement for the announcement was "-.-. .... . .-- .. . --..-- / .-- . .----. .-. . / .... --- -- . .-.-.-" That's Morse code for "Chewie, we're home."
"We really do have a bit of everything for everyone," said Evans, summing up the the team on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show this morning. "A fellow lifelong petrolhead from the other side of the pond in Matt; a fearless speed-demon in the irrepressible and effervescent Sabine; the encyclopedic, funny and wonderfully colorful character that is EJ; Chris, one of the world’s top no-nonsense car reviewers; and Rory, who simply blew me away in his audition and fully deserves his place on the team."
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