The Chris Evans car collectionChris Evans will replace Jeremy Clarkson and lead a new Top Gear line-up, the BBC has confirmed.

The BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show presenter and renowned car fanatic has signed a three-year deal, says the BBC.

It reports Evans called Top Gear his “favourite programme of all time” and that he has vowed to “do everything I possibly can to respect what has gone on before and take the show forward”.

Speaking to TopGear.com, Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four, said: “I’m so delighted that Chris will be presenting the next series of Top Gear.

“His knowledge of and passion for cars is well-known, and combined with his sheer inventiveness and cheeky unpredictability he is the perfect choice to take our much-loved show into the future.”

Encouragingly, she confirmed that Evans “knows the phenomenal attention to detail it takes to make a single sequence of Top Gear, let alone a whole series.

“He is already full of brilliant ideas and I can’t wait for him to get started.”

Filming for Top Gear Series 23 will begin in the next few weeks, and it will air both in the UK and abroad in early 2016.

Chris Evans and Top Gear: the build up

The star recently revealed he was “making a Top Gear”, explaining to Channel 4 Sunday Brunch presenter Tim Lovejoy that he was filming a sequence with an independent production company.

“We’re going to see how it goes,” he said. Clearly it’s gone well enough to make Evans review his earlier claim that rumours he was to replace Clarkson were “absolute nonsense”.

Jeremy Clarkson was suspended from Top Gear back in March, following the now-notorious ‘fracas with a producer’.

Following a review by BBC Director General Lord Hall, it was decided not to renew Clarkson’s contract: he thus left Top Gear after over two decades on the show.

Lord Hall said it was “not a decision I have taken lightly”.