Ever dreamed of working on Top Gear? How about being a host on Top Gear? Well here's you chance.
Top Gear and BBC producers announced yesterday that they are holding an open casting call for the wildly popular TV show about cars. After the dismissal of the well known and charismatic Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson earlier this month. The reason Clarkson was let go from the show seems to be the fact that he threw a punch at one of the Top Gear producers.
Even though Jeremy Clarkson has left Top Gear, the show must go on and the Top Gear production team has decided to run open casting calls. What does that mean? Basically anyone with some automotive media experience and a desire to be the new Top Gear host can apply. They are inviting people to send in applications for the job via the official Top Gear website. This is a bit unusual as a position as important as this usually isn't how producers find a replacement. You would expect the BBC and Top Gear production would reach out to potential hosts to fill Clarkson's role with the other hosts James May and Richard Hammond. Inside sources have reported that the producers for the BBC and Top Gear have been scrambling to find a replacement and this statement by Andy Wilman stated on the application page shows why they are doing this;
“Initially we were only holding discussions with a select few we thought would be ideal to replace Jeremy Clarkson. However, due to scheduling or contractual requirements none of these hosts will work for next season's Top Gear in the short term.”
Once the page went up on the Top Gear website announcing the open casting call, the website was flooded with traffic and applications. It brought down the server for several hours last night but the Top Gear web hosting and site team seems to have resolved any issues now. The site and page is back up and running. It's been reported from several sources that there have been tens of thousands of applications since the open casting announcement. An update on the page reads;
The Top Gear producers put some requirements here but many seemed to have been ignored by the excitement over this open casting call.
Still the requirements are pretty open considering choosing a new Top Gear host is no easy task. On the page it says, “The new host should ideally be British but we are open to considering a new host who is not from the United Kingdom. However, you must be a native English speaker and have grown up in a country where English is a native language.” I assume this includes the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and some other countries.
Ideally applicants should submit work showing 3+ years of past work within the auto media industry. This can include written work in online or print publications, radio, TV, or online shows. Credentials with an auto media organization are also preferred. Andy Wilman says does say;
We will look at anyone who we think can truly fill Jeremy Clarkson's shoes. Experience is preferred but does don't matter.
Another part of the application is submitting a video of yourself hosting and talking, explaining why you should be chosen. You will need to be good on TV after all and obviously you will have to have good on air chemistry with Richard Hammond and James May. They are planning on doing screen tests for potential hosts at the end of the summer.
Letting Jeremy Clarkson go has put the BBC in precarious position. Top Gear isn't just another show for media conglomerate, since it funds lots of TV shows they produce which do not make money. Top Gear is arguable the crown jewel of the BBC as has hundreds of millions of viewers across the globe and is broadcast in many different countries and varied languages. Top Gear is a huge cash cow an revenue machine for the BBC. The production team is worried letting Jeremy Clarkson go and leaving Richard Hammond and James May could potentially not work. Top Gear USA was cancelled due to a poor ratings and high productions costs. The BBC and Top Gear want to avoid the “Top Gear America disaster and horror” as one producer put it.
It's hard to know what Top Gear producers are looking for but it seems they are trying to cast a wide net and see what they turn up. I imagine they will continue to be flooded with applications in the coming weeks. The window for applying closes at the end of this month, so that should give any potential hosts out there a chance to apply to be the next Top Gear host.
Will you be applying to be the next Top Gear host? What would you do if you replaced Jeremy Clarkson?
Happy April 1st Everyone! 🙂