Zoe Ball could join Chris Evans on Top Gear team, reports say

Presenter, who has worked with show’s new host for years, said to be lined up for BBC programme after screen test

Zoe Ball is being lined up to co-present Top Gear, after reportedly impressing producers during screen tests.

Ball has been closely associated with the new Top Gear presenter, Chris Evans, for years after the pair have separately presented the same programme in the 1990s and Ball acting as Evans’s relief on his Radio 2 breakfast show.

According to the Sunday Mirror, a source on the Top Gear production staff said: “Zoe looks like a certainty after the screen tests. She was brilliant down on the race track and she’s enthusiastic about cars.

“She’s a complete professional and of course has a long history of working with the BBC on radio and television so she has known Chris a long time. Things immediately clicked into place and there was a lightbulb moment among producers. The chemistry between Zoe and Chris is perfect.”

Shortly after it was announced that he would front Top Gear, Evans said he could “100% confirm” the show would have a female co-presenter. Jodie Kidd has been touted as a possible co-star as well as Suzi Perry and Vicki Butler-Henderson.

Evans told Radio 5 Live that he wanted to work with people who were “extremely knowledgeable about cars” and who “have warmth about them”.

He is believed to be taking a central role in shaping the new-look programme after Jeremy Clarkson’s sacking and the subsequent departures of Richard Hammond and James May.

However, it is understood that he wants to keep a largely similar format to the old show. And speaking as it was announced that he would be taking over, he said: “I promise I will do everything I possibly can to respect what has gone on before and take the show forward.”

A BBC spokeswoman declined to comment and representatives of Ball had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Kevin Rawlinson, for The Guardian on Sunday 13th September 2015 12.50 Europe/London

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