Top Gear showrunner originally didn’t want the job after series “meltdown”

Clare Pizey said that the show was in "meltdown" following Chris Evans' brief stint as presenter

Chris Evans in car MAIN

Top Gear showrunner Clare Pizey has admitted that she originally didn’t want to take over the show, calling it the toughest job she’s ever had.


Pizey took the reins of the show following Chris Evans’s short-lived stint as lead presenter, during which he also had creative control.

Speaking in this week’s issue of Radio Times, she said that Evans had drawn a lot of the negativity that was aimed at the revamped show, stating that it had been in “meltdown” when she took control.

She said, “I’m going to be honest, I didn’t want to do it. I’ve been around long enough to know, when a show’s in meltdown, how terrifying it is for the team making that show.

“But I did know that I was senior enough that people would listen to me – if I said something’s not possible, I would be heard.”

She said that although she had no desire to speak ill of people, she felt that the show hadn’t worked out with Chris Evans as presenter, but praised his bravery for taking over after the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

Meanwhile Pizey also joked that she needs “grown-up baby reins” to keep control of the current presenting trio Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris – saying that when her back is turned they have often, “gone off in different directions… a bit like mercury.”

Top Gear returns to BBC Two on Sunday, 26th January at 8pm.

The new issue of Radio Times is on sale now