Another Pitt stop: Hollywood hunk Brad pulls out of Top Gear
Further setback for new Top Gear
Brad Pitt has reportedly pulled out of the first episode of Top Gear.
Chris Evans and the new team had lined up a Hollywood heavyweight for the hotly-anticipated return, though he was left scrabbling around for a replacement this week due to filming schedules.
World War Z star Brad, 52, has been replaced by Jesse Eisenberg, with British TV chef Gordon Ramsay completing the episode one celebrity line-up, announced on Thursday.
A source told The Sun newspaper: 'Brad has obviously had filming issues so they've had to quickly find another Hollywood name and came up with Jesse.
'He played Lex Luthor in the latest Batman vs Superman movie, but is not a heart-throb or a name anything like Brad.
'Chris Evans is not known in the US so they've had to bring in two guests instead of one each week to build the brand out there.'
Brad (above) is currently living in the UK with wife Angelina Jolie and their six children as he films World War Z sequel.
The television programme formerly headed up by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond will return to screens later this month.
Radio 2 DJ Chris leads the new line-up of presenters alongside Friends star Matt Le Blanc as well as Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan.
Television veteran Chris has faced a barrage of sniping from critics ahead of the long-awaited relaunch and admitted himself this week that he's 'preparing for potential imminent career death.'
In typical no-holds-barred style, Chris wrote in The Mail on Sunday's Event magazine this week: 'As a consequence of the mud-slinging, I have taken to daily, contemplative soaks in the bath-tub of "worst-case scenario."
Evans continued: 'I am a realist hoping for the best, while preparing for potential imminent career death.'
Ahead of his debut series, Chris light-heartedly acknowledged the question of whether he will continue the success of the previous presenters.
Joking that if all fails 'I could apply for a correspondence course in becoming an international hitman', he suggests he could advertise his services.
To anyone getting grief from untalented weasels in our industry, whose only role in life has evolved into peddling slander about others in order to extend their otherwise moribund existence, STEP ASIDE, ALLOW ME.'
Hammond and May left the BBC show in the wake of Clarkson's fracas with a producer, as they all followed suit when his contract was not renewed.
Clarkson, May and Hammond are also preparing for the launch of their own new show – to be called The Grand Tour – on streaming service Amazon.
The trio have signed a multi-million-pound deal, and Evans notes wryly they are getting 'ten times the cash but a fraction of the audience'.
He reveals his early experiences on Top Gear have given him 'a long overdue and welcome wake-up call with regards to career mortality'.
'I think we can all agree that some people in my business would currently prefer me/my career/preferably both to be shot on sight rather than taken in for further questioning.
'It's clear, even to a deaf, dumb and blind person, that in their considered opinion, I thoroughly deserve to be six feet under and the sooner the better.'
Last week, the presenter admitted that BBC stars like him are paid 'too much' for 'part-time' jobs the public would 'pay to do'.