The trio of Clarkson, Hammond, and May had a good run at Top Gear. It ended abruptly when Jeremy Clarkson punched someone in the nose and the guys have since moved on to new projects. Their Amazon show, The Grand Tour, is cruising right along, but Top Gear is facing yet another cast change as it tries to find its footing.
The latest shuffle sees two new hosts joining Chris Harris, who was already one of the main presenters. The latest additions are Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff.
This follows the announcement that Rory Reid is stepping down as a main presenter. He isn’t leaving the show completely, but rather taking a smaller part in the action in a role similar to Sabine Schmitz. He’ll also be the lead on Extra Gear, which is Top Gear‘s companion show.
Also absent from the new lineup is Matt LeBlanc. Unlike Reid, LeBlanc is entirely stepping away from the show. This news broke just before summer with the host saying the time and travel commitment was simply too much.
As for the new hosts, McGuinness is an English comedian and television presenter while Flintoff is a former cricket captain. Both are excited to host the show, despite the every-changing roster of hosts.
“Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honor,” McGuiness said. “To be hosting a show I’ve watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting. Top Gear fans worldwide are a passionate bunch and I consider myself one of them.”
Neither of the new hosts has a driving background, but they do have interesting driving records. McGuinness avoided a driving ban last year on a technicality. Meanwhile, Flintoff avoided several bans for speeding.
That’s not exactly a driving pedigree nor is it something to which the average person aspires. As a rule, people who cover the automotive industry try to avoid that sort of thing, but apparently those brushes with law enforcement weren’t enough to keep them from this new gig.
Series 26, which features the existing cast, is set to air early next year. We won’t get to see this latest iteration of Top Gear until Series 27 debuts sometime later in the year.