It was while watching the twenty-year edition of TFI Friday that I considered just how far ahead of most other live TV presenters Chris Evans is and how much evening TV had missed him. He has an innate ability to connect to a live studio audience as well as the person at home on the couch all at the same time.
So it was without too much surprise when Top Gear announced him as one of the new presenters the other day; a perfect fit you may think, as Mr Evans love of cars is well known.
Yet it’s so much more than that, being lucky enough to have the finances to fulfil some of his motoring dreams, Chris Evans has amassed one of the finest collections of cars we are likely to come across.
While it may be all too easy to dismiss Evans as a man with a vast collection of way too expensive Ferraris, he does also extend the love to far more humble automobiles, including a (non classic) Fiat 500 and a rather nice Ford Escort Mexico. He also owns a pretty standard ’72 Beetle, something that Clarkson would most definitely not approve of.
Evans can also be very proud of being a part of CarFest, which has raised thousands of pounds for Children in Need. CarFest originally began in 2012 and was hosted at Jody Scheckter’s 2,500 acre Laverstoke Farm Park and despite complaints from some neighbours at the time, CarFest continues to be a success to this day.
I guess if I was asked to pick my favourite car that Evans has either owned or still owns, it might prove to be a mind bogglingly difficult task – except for one thing: In 2012, Evans paid around £500,000 for the only working version of the ‘GEN11’ number-plated car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Now for anyone of a certain age (or maybe just anyone?) that car is probably the most iconic car in existence. Several were made for the show, but only one was actually driveable. That’s a clear winner in my book and must’ve been a treat for kids of all ages when he unveiled it at CarFest a few months later.
So all in all, I don’t think even the most mean spirited critic of Top Gear of the BBC could argue that Chris Evans is anything but a superb choice as the new main host.
In fact, Evans – who previously said that he was ruling himself out of the running for a role in a revamped Top Gear to avoid becoming ‘a pawn’ in the Top Gear/Clarkson circus – says he was only offered the job a week ago. Being friends with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May through their mutual love of cars, he also said that he had already been given the thumbs up by them should the role come his way.
Now we must wait to see who appears triumphant following the auditions for further Top Gear presenter roles in the weeks to come, but I bet they don’t have a collection quite like Mr Evans does.
Images: www.motoringresearch.com, www.telegraph.co.uk.
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