BBC lines up dream team for all new Top Gear
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BBC chiefs have reportedly picked their new dream team line-up for Top Gear, including model Jodie Kidd, Life on Mars actor Philip Glenister and Channel 4 presenter Guy Martin.
The show's bosses, who are desperately trying to secure a new presenting team for the long-running programme, are said to be in 'advanced talks' with the prospective trio.
The news come amid growing speculation over the future of the BBC 2 show, after James May and Richard Hammond appeared to rule out a return without Jeremy Clarkson.
English super-model Jodie Kidd is tipped to co-host the all-new Top Gear
According to the Sunday Express newspaper, the news was divulged by Andy Wilman, the co-creator of the show, who quit last month in the wake of Clarkson's sacking.
He was reportedly overhead describing the new line-up while having lunch with Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay in Sussex.
Kidd, who recently split from Army officer David Blakeley after just four months of marriage, has been a firm favourite to take over the reins since Clarkson was suspended but has so far remained tight-lipped over the speculation.
She owns a number of cars, co-presents The Classic Car Show and famously achieved one of the fastest lap times on Top Gear’s 'Star in a reasonably priced car' segment.
e 36-year-old was spotted in public with Clarkson last week, when the pair went for lunch together in west London.
Glenister, better known as sexist detective Gene Hunt from Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes, currently hosts For the Love of Cars on Channel 4, where he restores classic cars with the help of designer Ant Anstead.
Meanwhile, Martin, also presents several series for Channel 4. These include Speed, where he sets out to break unusual speed records, and How Britain Worked, which is a guide to the engineering history of the Industrial Revolution.
His most recent series, Our Guy in India, saw him travel across the country on a Royal Enfield motorbike.
There have been a host of other celebrities linked to the motoring show since it was taken off the air earlier this year.
Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, Nick Knowles from DIY SOS and actor Steve Coogan are among those who have been tipped as Clarkson's successor.
Last week, May, 52, ruled out claims that they could film the programme with a stand-in for Clarkson.
It came despite calls from the BBC's creative director Alan Yentob for he and Hammond to return to the show without Clarkson.
May said: 'Me and Hammond with a surrogate Jeremy is a non-starter, it just wouldn't work. That would be lame, or "awks" as young people say.
'It has to be the three of us. You can't just put a surrogate Jeremy in and expect it to carry on. It would be forced. I don't believe they would be stupid enough to try that.'
He added: 'It doesn't mean I won't go back - we may all go back in the future. It might just be we have a break from it. I don't know. It would be a bloody tough call to do Top Gear without Jeremy.'
Hammond, 45, also appeared to dispel any such move, tweeting: 'Not about to quit my mates.'
He told reporters at a charity bike rally last month that the future will be 'exciting' for the three men, but refused to speculate further on the future of Top Gear.
He said: 'Everybody knows what's happened. That's all been in the news. The future, nobody knows yet do they?
'And I cannot and won't speculate further than that. So don't know, let's see. It'll be exciting whatever.'
Clarkson was dropped by the BBC after an internal investigation found he had launched an 'unprovoked' 30-second physical attack on producer Oisin Tymon because he was offered a plate of cold cuts instead of steak and chips.
The presenter was found to have split the producer's lip and verbally abused him.