Saturday 23 February 2019

New Kidd on the engine block? Jodie may host Top Gear when Matt leaves

Jodie Kidd could host Top Gear
Jodie Kidd could host Top Gear

Jodie Kidd, James Martin and Guy Martin are among the stars being linked to Top Gear following Matt Le-Blanc's departure announcement.

The American actor and TV presenter will leave the BBC Two motoring show after hosting one more series later this year.

Model, car enthusiast and racing driver Kidd is among the most popular picks to take over the steering wheel of the show, according to bookmakers William Hill, who have her at 6/1.

She is in joint first place with TV chef James and motorcycle racer and broadcaster Guy after the first rush of bets came in.

"When the market first opened on Thursday night, Guy Martin, James Martin and Jenson Button were the favourites," said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

Matt LeBlanc
Matt LeBlanc


"However, since then, pretty much every penny has been for Jodie Kidd, and she has joined the front of the race."

Kidd was previously linked to Top Gear three years ago when long-running hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May left following Clarkson's row with an Irish producer.

She was a favourite due to her previous attempt at driving the programme's "reasonably priced car" in 2003, notching up an impressive one minute and 48 seconds around the track.

At the time, Kidd ruled herself out of the running to join the then newly confirmed presenter Chris Evans, who went on to head the programme for one series alongside LeBlanc in 2016.

"If I were to accept Top Gear it would be completely all-consuming. Top Gear is the most brilliant show on this planet but it would just take over your soul," said Kidd.

Former Saturday Kitchen host James was also hotly tipped for the job at the time, but he later said that cars are purely a hobby for him and he prefers working on food-related TV programmes.

Guy is already known to viewers for his work on Channel 4 shows, although in 2015 he said he turned down the Top Gear job at the time.

Former Formula 1 star Button's odds are at 8/1, along with The X Factor's Dermot O'Leary and Life On Mars actor Philip Glenister.

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