As you’ll no doubt recall, last year a vacancy became available as ‘Top Gear’ presenter, when Jeremy Clarkson was famously axed over a behind-the-scenes “fracas” with a producer.
While the ‘Alan Partridge’ creator’s name was repeatedly linked to a role on the show, it was ultimately Chris Evans who got the job as lead host, which Steve has now discussed in a new interview with Alan Carr.
He admitted: “They mentioned me and I have been on [‘Top Gear’] three times. In fact, when I'm abroad I get recognised, not for Alan Partridge, but for 'Top Gear'. That is my claim to fame.”
Suggesting he ultimately chose not to pursue the opportunity, Steve continued: “They did mention me but I'm not sure I would be very good at that.
“You know, they always say it’s better to say why wasn't he a presenter on 'Top Gear' than why was he a presenter on 'Top Gear'. Think about that.”
Instead Chris will be joined on the show by Matt LeBlanc and a plethora of other recurring co-hosts, with the two already landing themselves in hot water this week, over a stunt that was filmed near the Cenotaph memorial in London.
Joking about the ensuing controversy, Steve remarked: “I am outraged. Outraged!
“There is a point to it but I think people do like to get... I mean, the British especially, we do like to get really angry about things, don't we? [The stunt] was probably inappropriate but I think people love to go, 'How dare you?' A lot of finger-waggers, aren't we?”
The new series of ‘Top Gear’ is set to air in May on BBC Two, while Jeremy Clarkson will front a rival show on Amazon Prime at the same time, alongside his former co-presenters, Richard Hammond and James May.