Well, it’s official. Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond are out as the BBC’s Top Gear hosts and in to replace the highly rated trio are a model, an actor and a motorcycle racer.
After Clarkson’s recent outburst on set (read: he punched a producer in the face), the British network felt they had no other choice but to retaliate with a firing, and since May and Hammond had no intention of sticking around without their colleague they exited too.
So, what do we think about Philip Glenister, Jodie Kidd and Guy Martin as the new Top Gear three? Here’s our deep dive into who you’ll be watching each week (or un-watching, depending on where that loyalty lies).
The Model/Reality Show Star
Jodie Kidd made her name first as a fashion model, gracing the covers of Elle and British Vogue, and later as a reality TV contestant on both Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Masterchef. While she did make an appearance once on Top Gear (she completed the fastest Celebrity Lap on the Suzuki Liana) and apparently claims racing cars as a favourite hobby, we’re not so sure how she stacks up against her predecessors. Jeremy Clarkson was a noted journalist before becoming a broadcaster, specializing in everything automotive.
Kidd’s presented on The Classic Car show in the past, but that hardly compares to Clarkson’s 30-year track record in the industry. The quality control on Top Gear is what made the show such a success, so it’s a bit concerning that the BBC would choose someone who seems so very…unqualified.
The Road Racer
A motorcycle racer, mechanic and presenter, Guy Martin is easily the best suited for Top Gear hosting duties out of this new trio (from what we can tell in his bio anyway). Motorcycle racing for decades, Martin has raced the road for Yamaha, Honda, and just recently signed on with BMW, but it’s his experience competing in the Isle of Man TT that really sealed the deal on his celebrity.
Off the track, Martin has been at the forefront of a variety of TV programs, all focused on racing, vehicles and engineering. He might not offer the journalistic background that Clarkson, May or Hammond do, but he certainly has relevant experience in the industry (which is more than we can say about the other two replacements). Guy’s life as a racer could actually end up proving pretty interesting when it comes to his contributions to the new Top Gear. Stay tuned!
Philip Glenister is a British actor and presenter known for a bunch of shows and movies that mean nothing to those living on this side of the pond, but he did host the TV program For the Love of Cars last year. In it, he and friend Art Andstead restored a variety of classic cars over the course of six episodes. But that’s pretty much where Glenister’s auto industry experience begins and ends. He’ll probably work well enough as he does have quite a bit of presenting under his belt, and classic cars are somewhat of his specialty, but like Kidd, we worry about his credentials.
If compared to Richard Hammond, Philip Glenister comes up short. Period. Hammond, a journalist and presenter, worked on a variety of motoring programs before joining Top Gear – which is what made him such a natural fit for a show about motoring. Glenister doesn’t bring that level of experience, but perhaps his theatre chops can help him in acting out the part of the qualified TV host!
What do you think about the BBC’s choices for hosts? Will you be watching the new Top Gear next spring? Let us know in the comments!