The former ‘Saturday Kitchen’ presenter will meet with BBC bosses next week to discuss taking the helm of the BBC Two motoring show, according to the Sunday People.
The TV chef, who is a self-confessed car fan, was said to be disappointed to be overlooked as a potential host when Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May all left the show last year, but now he is poised to bag the job.
A source told the paper: “James’ nose was put out of joint when he didn’t get the ‘Top Gear’ job last time around.
It had been thought Matt LeBlanc would step up to become the main presenter of ‘Top Gear’ when Chris quit the rebooted version of the show after just one series, amid a critical mauling and sliding ratings.
However, Matt threw his future with the show into doubt earlier this month, claiming that his new US sitcom ‘Man With A Plan’ is his priority.
“I don’t know [if I will return]. I’d like to,” he said at a US TV conference. “There’s nothing officially happening just yet - call the BBC.”
It was later reported he’d been offered as much as £1 million to return, with Chris also publicly backing Matt to take over from him.
Meanwhile, James also became the bookies’ favourite to land the job, and did little to deny he wanted the role in an interview with The Sun’s TV magazine, telling them: “I’ve got so much to worry about with ‘This Morning’, so let me get that out of the way before I make a decision on anything else.”
He also shocked fans earlier this month when it was revealed he has been in a secret relationship for the past five years.
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