Jeremy Clarkson’s final scenes in Top Gear will be screened later this year, according to the boss of BBC2.
Kim Shillinglaw said she was not thinking of his replacement “in terms of gender”. She said the scenes filmed before Clarkson was suspended for his attack on Oisin Tymon were likely to air this summer.
She said: “They simply weren’t able to shoot enough material”, but added: “No way would I want the available material not to be seen by viewers”.
Asked about drafting in a woman to replace him, she said: “I worked a lot with female presenters and when I used to work in science that was something across the piste that I really wanted to tackle but I don’t think I’ve ever approached an individual show thinking that was the way I want to cast it so I think it’s an open book on that.
“We’ll definitely look at some women but it’s not a driving priority.”
It follows an announcement at the weekend by Clarkson that he is already thinking about his next television project after becoming “obsessed” with the long-running BBC motoring series he fronted before being axed for attacking a colleague.
The star also revealed he was told he “probably” had cancer, two days before the “fracas” with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, although he has since been given the all-clear. And he became so focused on his work following the break-up of his marriage and the death of his mother that he was unable to concentrate on anything else. Clarkson said he even considered turning his back on presenting altogether in the fall-out from the incident.
Earlier this month, North Yorkshire Police said Clarkson would face no further police action over his attack on the producer at the Simonstone Hall Hotel in Hawes.