ENTERTAINMENT

'Top Gear' : Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc And The Story So Far...

The BBC's new show is set to debut on 22 May.

13/04/2016 15:53 | Updated 14 April 2016

Another day, another bad headline for ‘Top Gear’, this time with news that high-profile hosts of the rebooted BBC franchise have fallen out over last month’s Cenotaph debacle. 

Word on the street is that Chris Evans, radio show host, TV's bad-boy-grown-up and the unpredictable talent on which the BBC has staked the future of the show, is furious with American import Matt LeBlanc over the damage done to the show’s brand by Matt’s ‘donut’ turns in front of one of the country’s most revered memorials, and the reactions by horrified war veterans. 

BBC
'Top Gear's Cenotaph debacle has reportedly divided the team

At the time, Chris Evans took the unusual step for him of apologising unreservedly for the offence caused by the actions of his team-mates. Privately, the Sun has reported that the atmosphere has become very “frosty” between Chris and those involved in filming on that day. 

If there is a sense of brewing tension, it’s understandable, as the talent and crew face the unique challenge of bringing the show in on time, on budget and with fresh delight for the millions of viewers still hanging out for something to match the unique screen chemistry of former presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. 

However, with such a catalogue of behind-the-scenes woe, this show is looking increasingly without any cruise control, instead one that is going to need every bit of skill to steer it to the finishing line for 22 May. We survey the story so far… 

  • 25 March 2015
    Barcroft Media via Getty Images
    The BBC announces Jeremy Clarkson’s contract will not be renewed, following a fracas involving a cold dinner on location, and a punched producer. "A line has been crossed," said the BBC's statement.
  • 24 April 2015
    Matt Jelonek via Getty Images
    Richard Hammond joins James May in confirming they won't be back either, the team comes as a trio. 
  • 16 June 2015
    Alex Huckle via Getty Images
    The BBC reveals their Radio 2 breakfast show host Chris Evans will be leading the new team. 
  • 30 July 2015
    Matt Jelonek via Getty Images
    AmazonPrime reveals they’ve signed up Clarkson and co for an online motoring show, with a reported £10million/year package, with the series set to debut later in 2016.
  • 28 November 2015
    Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images
    Chris Evans reveals the show's debut date of 8 May, with an eight-episode series planned. 
  • 22 December 2015
    Barcroft via Getty Images
    ‘Top Gear’ producer Lisa Clark departs the team abruptly, saying she is to "pursue other projects", but wishes the team well.
  • 23 December 2015
    Hirz via Getty Images
    She is swiftly followed out of the door by script editor Tom Ford.
  • 4 February 2016
    Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle via Getty Images
    Matt LeBlanc is confirmed as a fellow presenter.
  • 11 February 2016
    BBC
    Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan all confirmed to join.
  • 26 February 2016
    Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle via Getty Images
    The BBC announces a fresh debut date of 22 May, with six episodes scheduled instead of eight.
  • 19 January 2016
    UniversalImagesGroup via Getty Images
    BBC Two commissioner Kim Shillinglaw, who has been overseeing the relaunch of the show, announces she will be leaving her role. Due to a re-organisation at the BBC, there will be no one to replace her, meaning Chris Evans will report directly to the Controller of Channels, Jane Moore. 
  • 10 February 2016
    NBC via Getty Images
    Matt LeBlanc confirms that he has signed to a US sitcom 'I'm Not Your Friend', leading to concern that he may have stretched himself too thin for 'Top Gear' duties.  
  • 13 March 2016
    PA
    Veterans complain about the ‘Top Gear’ team filming stunts, creating donut turns and speed dust, in London’s Whitehall, with shots including footage of the country’s most revered war memorial, the Cenotaph. 
  • 14 March 2016
    Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle via Getty Images
    Chris Evans makes a public apology for the team’s actions, while adding, “This isn't a shoot I'm particularly involved in." And takes to wearing pyjamas to work.
  • 31 March 2016
    BBC
    The show releases its first trailer. Many respond that the footage has become too Americanised, and they miss Jeremy. 
  • 12 April 2016
    BBC
    The show receives a major boost with news that streaming service Netflix has bought rights to distribute the show internationally, thus bringing the new series to a potential 75 million subscribers. 
  • 13 April 2016
    Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle via Getty Images
    The atmosphere on set is said to be “frosty” following Chris Evans’ continuing fury over the Cenotaph stunt. 
  • Apart from that...
    BBC
    It's all been smooth sailing. We wait for 22 May with bated breath. 

 

 

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