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Top Gear: Chris Evans 'square peg in round hole'
By Chris Evans • 11/07/2016
Chris Evans says Matt LeBlanc is right for Top Gear
So was that a dream or did I really get to work on Top Gear for a whole year?
Actually it was both. What a complete honour, privilege and a pleasure, And yes, I promise, I really did try to make the best show I possibly could.
Some things, however, simply don’t work out. It seems I may well have been a square peg in a round hole.
Which is fine if you keep on hammering it in, but the moment you leave it to do its own thing, the universe will quite rightly pop it back out again.
I think the phrase is ‘not meant to be’. One way or another, however, the Top Gear ship has been steadily refloated, a new production team and presentation team established and I, for one, will continue to be a huge fan.
And what an adventure it all was. From scaling the dizzying, snake-like trail of the Sani Pass with Seasick Steve riding shotgun, to getting to drive that fabulous 168mph Abingdon MGB around the lanes of sunny Buckinghamshire, I don’t regret a single second.
A year bursting with revelations and surprises. The highlight of any unforgettable experience such as this, of course, is the people you encounter and share it with.
The Top Gear gang are the most driven (forgive the pun) and dedicated I have ever worked with. There is nothing those guys won’t do to make every second of on-air content shine to its maximum potential.
Plus, I got to share the screen with Joey from Friends! May I just take a few lines to assure you what a total mensch and extreme petrolhead Matt LeBlanc is.
For me, he is the man. He is the captain Top Gear truly needs going forward, the perfect torso for the rest of TG’s limbs.
Not only does he eat, sleep, breathe and dream engines, propshafts and trail-braking, but the overwhelming quality that struck me about him is that he’s just such a pro.
The whole time I worked with him, he never once looked at the clock, was never late on set, knew his lines inside out and back to front and, most importantly on such an intense production, he always had time for everyone, especially the crew.
The simple truth is he and Top Gear were made for each other.
From the moment he made his first real driving film, in the bonkers Aerial Nomad in Morocco, it was love at first sight.
PS: I am entirely sad Top Gear didn’t work out – I would have loved to have carried on working on it.
But letting go with a smile on your face is far better than clinging on till you look constipated. Know what I mean?