'Top Gear' boss Clare Pizey didn't want the job after Chris Evans' departure.

Chris Evans

Chris Evans

The programme's showrunner took over the role after the 53-year-old presenter - who had creative control during his tenure - departed after a short-lived stint which struggled to impress fans or critics, and Clare admitted she wasn't keen on stepping in around all the negativity.

She told Radio Times magazine: "I'm going to be honest, I didn't want to do it. I've been around long enough to know, when a show's in meltdown, how terrifying it is for the team making that show.

"But I did know that I was senior enough that people would listen to me - if I said something's not possible, I would be heard."

Pizey also joked she needs "grown-up baby reins" to control presenters Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Freddie Flintoff because they have often "gone off in different directions" when her back is turned.

Former host Richard Hammond - who previously fronted the BBC show alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May until they leave in 2015 and moved onto 'The Grand Tour' - recently praised the current trio for being able to form a quick bond.

He said: "I didn't get to see it because I was travelling the whole time the series was on.

"I gather it was well received and they're getting into their stride, which is fantastic news.

"It sounds like they have a good chemistry. Ours took 20 years to get."

Whilst Richard hasn't tuned in to the show, in the past his car enthusiast pal James May admitted he's been watching it "quite regularly" since he left in 2015.

He said: "Yeah. I've been watching it quite regularly since we stopped.

"It's quite nice to watch 'Top Gear' when you're not on it, which I haven't been able to do for, you know, 13 years or whatever."