Jeremy Clarkson will be back on Top Gear on BBC2 this summer as the Corporation promises to broadcast unseen material from the shelved episodes.
BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw told RadioTimes.com that footage from the three Top Gear episodes shot before the BBC’s decision not to renew Clarkson’s contract will be aired “in some form”, although she was unable to confirm exactly how.
“There is no way I would not want the available material to be seen by viewers,” she said, confirming that the re-edited editions of Top Gear could be broadcast on BBC2 as early as the summer and definitely before the end of the year.
“Top Gear is a show that I love, I genuinely watch it and I always have done.”
However, a BBC source said it had not yet been decided how the unaired episodes would be shown or whether Clarkson’s former co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond would provide the links to the material.
Speaking at a BBC2 preview event last night, Shillinglaw did confirm that Top Gear would return in a new form next year and that she would look at female presenters to front the series.
But she declined to speculate on whether Hammond and May, or the show’s long-running executive producer Andy Wilman, would return.
“We have got a great in-house team that has always made it and will continue to make it.
“It’s not been an easy year but it’s kind of creatively exciting – what we are going to do, what we have to do. We have got to move the show on. That’s what we are going to do.”
A senior source added that the BBC needed to consider the interests of viewers. “We have shot the material with licence fee payers money – so the licence fee payers have a right to see it.”