'Top Gear' Host Compares Job to Being New 'Doctor Who'

Chris Evans, Top Gear Host, BBC

Chris Evans also says that he doesn't intend to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" when it comes to rejigging the hit motoring show.

Taking on the job as host on one of the world’s most popular TV shows, and from someone who had very much made it his own, comes with some pressure. Just ask new Top Gear host Chris Evans.

“I honestly didn’t think I’d get the phone call  I was amazed that I did, to be honest,” the British TV and radio personality told Top Gear Magazine, explaining why he had initially claimed not to be interested, despite being the favorite to take the job after Jeremy Clarkson was fired for punching a producer.

“I ruled myself out because I didn’t want to be part of the all the nonsense that was going on. But then the situation changed, and I wasn’t stepping on anybody’s grave or toes," he added.

And the 49-year-old compared the new role to that of another BBC cult series. “There have been 34 presenters before me, so it’s a bit like Doctor Who,” he said.

Since Evans was confirmed as Top Gear host, with news that production on the next season was due to begin later this year, there has been widespread debate in the U.K. as to who would join him in front of the camera.

“There’s a lot of talk about talent at the moment,” he said. “Honestly, it’s not the furthest thing away from my mind, but it is quite distant compared to directors, producers. I have got to get that team because without the team, it doesn’t matter what presenters we get. It’s nearly in place. We’re so very close."

Evans also said that fears that he would completely revamp the show made famous by Clarkson were unfounded. “Nothing has to [change], but some things will," he said. "I can’t tell you what precisely. But it would be silly to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”