02/09/2017 09:39 BST

James Martin Is Still Eyeing Up The Chance To Join 'Top Gear'

'I have been collecting cars for 20-odd years, and I’d love to be a part of it.'

James Martin is still eyeing up a role on ‘Top Gear’, despite missing out on the opportunity to join the show after the departure of Jeremy Clarkson and co. last year. 

The TV chef was one of the names linked to the reboot of the BBC motoring series after Chris Evans began hunting for con-hosts, but ultimately lost out on the job to Matt LeBlanc

PA Archive/PA Images
James Martin

Following another revamp of ‘Top Gear’ this year, which has seen Matt take over as lead presenter following Chris’s decision to quit, James has admitted he still fancies joining the former ‘Friends’ actor and his co-stars Rory Reid and Chris Harris

Admitting the opportunity is still to “come knocking”, car fanatic James told HuffPost UK: “It’s an iconic show and I love my cars. I’m a collector now and have been collecting for 20-odd years, and I’d love to be a part of it.

“But the telephone call won’t happen, I don’t think.”

He added: “You need to have a word with people who are higher up the ladder than me.”

The current 'Top Gear' presenting line-up

It was previously rumoured the BBC blocked James from becoming a presenter on ‘Top Gear’, insisting he focused on his role on ‘Saturday Kitchen’, which he later quit last year. 

A source told The Mirror at the time: “James is big mates with Chris who has appeared many times on ‘Saturday Kitchen’.

“He was excited to see what he was doing with ‘Top Gear’.

“Although James played down joining the show there was no doubt he fancied it.

“But BBC executives blocked the move. They felt he was best suited to ‘Saturday Kitchen’.

“Also filming commitments for ‘Top Gear’ are often over weekends which would clash with the show. Their view was ‘if it isn’t broke, why fix it?’”

James was also full of praise for Jeremy and his former ‘Top Gear’ crew and his co-stars Richard Hammond and James May for their new Amazon Prime show ‘The Grand Tour’.  

“It’s phenomenal what the guys have done on Amazon, but it’s another chapter in their lives,” he said. 

‘Saturday Morning With James Martin’ airs Saturdays from 2 September at 9.30am on ITV. 

Photo gallery'Top Gear': The Best Bits See Gallery