Guy Martin on why he turned down Top Gear

Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 26 Nov 2015

Guy Martin explains why he said no to Top Gear

Isle of Man TT star Guy Martin has admitted that he did think about joining the new presenting team of Top Gear, but soon realised the job 'wasn't for him'. 

When Jeremy Clarkson was controversially sacked from the show earlier this year, the rumour mill was on overdrive in regards to who would replace him.

It was eventually confirmed that long-time car geek and current Radio 2 DJ, Chris Evans would take over from the opinionated Clarkson, but the replacements for James May and Richard Hammond were still unknown.

Having enjoyed tonnes of success with his hit Channel 4 series ‘Speed’, Martin was in the bookies’ running to join the show from the off.

When asked about the rumours earlier this year, he responded: “I don’t think I’d be able to get the time off work! I don’t want to try and be the man who replaced Jeremy Clarkson, but never say never.”

Now, in an article in the Sunday Times (taken from his new book, ‘When you dead, you dead’) Martin has admitted declining an approach for the Top Gear job and explained why the role wasn’t for him.  

“Daft things started to happen when all the Jeremy Clarkson stuff kicked off and it became clear he was getting the boot from Top Gear,” wrote Martin.

Martin at last year's TT

“Loads of rumours started that I was going to replace him. It was all a load of rubbish at first – just bookies putting out odds to get gullible people to part with their money – but then Chris Evans got involved with Top Gear and Andy Spellman [Martin’s manager] got a call from some gadgie at the BBC saying that Evans wanted to talk to me and that I could do one show, all the shows, do what I wanted, as long as I was in Top Gear.

“I didn’t say no straight away, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew it wasn’t right for me. For one thing, if I did it, I’d always be compared with Clarkson… Another reason not to do it was because the BBC man said it was the biggest television show in the world.

“How many presenters would turn that down? Not many of them, but I did. I’m not being cocky but I can turn down the biggest TV show in the world because TV work is not my big picture. I sometimes whinge about the amount of attention I’m getting at the moment – imagine how bad it would be if I were on Top Gear? I couldn’t go and race a Harley-Davidson chopper at Dirt Quake on a quiet weekend, could I?

“Top Gear might pay squillions of pounds, but what do I want all that for? I can earn enough for the life I want fixing lorries and doing a few other bits and pieces.”

While Martin’s future racing plans are unconfirmed, his TV work is set to continue next year as he takes on the ‘Wall of Death’. He’ll also take part in the Triumph land speed record attempt originally scheduled for earlier this year.

Buy Guy Martin's new book here

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