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No sooner than being cast as Top Gear‘s new lead presenter; British radio and TV personality Chris Evans has announced the start of public auditions to replace current hosts James May and Richard Hammond, who are officially leaving the show following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson.

“The way Richard and James were found was by auditioning,” Evans said, “so what we’re going to do is hold auditions. Not just for famous people, ex-famous people, up-and-coming famous people, but for people who are watching the show.

“Male, female, old, young, it doesn’t matter. The one thing that does matter is that you’ve got to have a real appetite for cars, and you’ve got to know something about cars.”

And it really is open to the public – you don’t have to be an established presenter to apply for the job; heck, you don’t even need to be from the UK to be eligible to submit. “You can be a mechanic, you can be an amateur racing car driver, you can be a guy who’s a fireman but who’s been building his own Land Rover in his shed for five years, but you’ve got to know about cars.”

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Participants have to be at least 16 years old, and must submit a video recording of themselves under 30 seconds long. “It should just be you, to camera from the waist up. No stunts, no gimmicks, just you talking to camera.”

Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to a live audition with Evans and the production team. “It’s all a big open book,” he said. “Top Gear has benefitted from the audition process, and we think that can happen again. You must know at least as much as me, preferably more than me, about cars.”

One proviso, however – Evans said that there was “no guarantee” that a member of the public would be given the gig, adding that the appointment will “only happen if there’s anything good.” Details on submissions will be released later today.

So, budding hosts, do you think you have what it takes? It seems a bit odd to be writing this, but if you have always dreamed to be a Top Gear presenter, now is as good a time as any.