Chris Harris, James May and Richard Hammond
In a recent interview James May made it clear that he would not return to Top Gear after Jeremy Clarkson was let go for attacking a producer.
Mr. May went on to say that he would like to do another car show with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, but that a non-compete clause in one of their contracts will make this difficult. He later said that he is not leaving the BBC.
In the same way from some posts on Twitter, it appears that Mr. Hammond has taken the same stand. The BBC has seen that the big money maker for the government sponsored network may be falling apart. It has since said that Mr. Clarkson is not banned from being on the BBC which opens up a possible return at some point. The network has also been in talks with James May and Richard Hammond to convince them to return to Top Gear, but what else can they do to keep the show popular?
Click past the jump (or scroll down if you came directly to the full article) to find out how Chris Harris could join Top Gear and keep James May and Richard Hammond on the show.
Keeping James May and Richard Hammond is important to the future of Top Gear. Without this the show’s ratings will likely fall very quickly. Obviously, deciding to change their minds and let Jeremy Clarkson return to the program would be the easy way to keep the show popular (plus with all this press, the ratings would be even better than before).
But outside of letting Mr. Clarkson return is there anybody else that could possibly keep the show together? Chris Harris may be the answer to this. He is widely considered one of the top automotive journalists and he makes a very good video, even on a low budget.
Beyond this he and the Top Gear presenters (specifically Hammond and May) have been talking via Twitter as well as at some media events. This familiarity could allow for Harris to end up on the show providing that he is allowed to with his current obligation to NBC Sports.
The question is if the BBC could get May and Hammond to stay and add Harris, would the ratings take a big drop? Chris Harris currently does entertaining, but often technical videos which may not have quite the wide appeal as the Top Gear did with Jeremy Clarkson. Having said this Mr. Harris has said that he keeps from making videos with humor in them as he didn’t want to compete with the pokey little motoring show on BBC2. Knowing a bit about Chris off camera, he can be very funny in a very British way. He may not be a Clarkson, but could be the next best thing.
What do you think? If Chris Harris was added to Top Gear and James May and Richard Hammond were talked into staying would you watch? Or should we hope that Clarkson, May and Hammond end up together on another network?
Update: It is being reported that the BBC has what they are calling a dream team for the show. Harris, Hammond and May are not being mentioned as part of this dream team. We will have more on that soon.
Picture Sources: YouTube, Abbedabb, PS2pcGAMER