In March 2015, show presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who had been presenting the current version of Top Gear since its inception in 2002, was told that his contract would not be renewed. Following the exit of Clarkson, his co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May, as well as executive producer Andy Wilman confirmed that they would not be returning for the show’s twenty-third series without his involvement.
On 16 June 2015, Chris Evans was confirmed as one of the new hosts. In October 2015 it was announced that the new series would air from May 2016. In February 2016 the BBC announced that American actor Matt LeBlanc would join Evans as one of his co-presenters. On 11 February 2016, during his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, Evans confirmed the new Top Gear presenters who will join himself, LeBlanc and The Stig will be Eddie Jordan, motoring journalist Chris Harris, German motor racing driver Sabine Schmitz and motoring journalist and Sky television presenter Rory Reid who won an open audition to be part of the show. Former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard was widely reported to be joining the team before he was revealed as the host of Channel 4’s coverage for the 2016 F1 season while Jordan announced he would spilt the role.