Controversial ex-“Top Gear” presenter Jeremy Clarkson and his colleagues Richard Hammond and James May have been trying to get signed for a new motoring show for a while now, and today we found out that their show wouldn’t be able to appear on U.K. broadcaster ITV’s network channel because a no-compete clause in their old BBC contract prohibits them from appearing in a rival auto show until April 2017.
This will give BBC plenty of time to revamp “Top Gear”, which will launch in April next year, and establish and promote it before the much adored old hosts got their own show on air. The new presenter will be radio DJ Chris Evans, who is especially popular among young adults due to the success of his Channel 4 show “TFI Friday”.
Daily Mirror, quoting a source, said the clause won’t be able to stop them from signing with popular net platforms such as Netflix or Amazon, which would be beneficial for their position in further negotiations as well.
The paper’s source said: “Basically they could make a show for ITV, but not one about cars. A clause stops them leaving and making a rival.
“It means Netflix or Amazon are favorites to sign up the team. There is a feeling that if they wait two years it gives Chris Evans a chance to steal a march on them and get his new ‘Top Gear’ show up and running, which means he would be settled in by then.
“It’s a difficult decision but they hope to make up their minds soon after a number of meetings. ITV have made them a great offer.”
“Top Gear” is, as BBC claims, the most popular reality program in existence with almost 350 million people watching worldwide.