On-screen partnerships are difficult to create, particularly when whoever is chosen will have to follow the larger-than-life Clarkson. He not only had motoring knowledge, but also wrote scripts and came up with ideas. So his replacement, if the show stays as it is, will need to have be as fast with the quips as they are behind the wheel of a car.
Early favourite DJ Chris Evans has ruled himself out, but other names in the frame include sports journalist Dan Walker, who, Clarkson-like, apologised two years ago after “humiliating” two football fans by joking about their weight on Football Focus.
If the BBC wants to break the mould and go with a female presenter, Jodie Kidd is the choice of bookies Ladbrokes, along with racing driver and presenter Vicki Butler Henderson and the BBC’s Formula 1 host Suzi Perry.
Comedians and presenters Johnny Vaughan and John Bishop – who once broke the record for the fastest time in the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment of the show – are also seen as potential candidates.
The BBC could use the opportunity to break some new talent, or it could return the show to its roots and rehire the ever-popular first Top Gear presenter, Angela Rippon.