Dermot O’Leary’s return to Saturday night television with a BBC driving show has been announced less than two weeks after the unveiling of Jeremy Clarkson’s Amazon deal.
The Getaway Car, presented by Dermot, will see couples compete in a series of driving challenges that test the limits of their relationship behind the wheel of a car – with only the best getting to face The Stig of Top Gear fame.
The entertainment show will feature married couples, grandparents and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, and best friends.
The Stig (Richard Shotwell/Invision)
Dermot was the presenter of Saturday-night favourite The X Factor for eight years but left after the last series.
His name was mentioned in connection with Top Gear but he quelled speculation by ruling himself out.
Chris Evans has already been unveiled as the man trusted with reinventing Top Gear for the BBC.
Former host Clarkson has taken a new motoring show to Amazon with a jibe at the BBC, saying last month it felt like he had “climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship”.
Jeremy Clarkson (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)
Clarkson, whose contract was not renewed after he punched a member of the show’s staff during a “fracas”, is teaming up with co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May as well as producer Andy Wilman.
They have signed a deal with the online giant to make three series of 12 episodes which will be available to Amazon Prime customers from next year.
Speaking about The Getaway Car, which will be broadcast next year on BBC One, Dermot said: “This is a show that’s really about relationships.
“We all think we are great drivers, but what tickled me most is seeing how people, who obviously love each other very much, speak to each other when they are behind the wheel of a car.
Dermot O’Leary (Ian West/PA Archive)
“It brings out the worst in all of us … but in a fun way. It’s a warm show that will stretch a family’s patience with those they love most in the world.
“I had a whale of a time doing the pilot and now can’t wait to make the series.”
Tracy Forsyth, genre director of factual entertainment and entertainment content at BBC Worldwide, said: “We’re hugely excited about this show and its potential to follow other successful British TV formats onto an international stage.
“With an iconic character from one of our biggest global brands already on board, we know audiences everywhere will be curious to see what’s under the bonnet of The Getaway Car.”