Top Gear wanted THIS hopeful to host with Chris Evans but he WROTE-OFF £85k Mercedes

But the BBC Two show could have been very different as another person originally auditioned to work with the 51-year-old and former Friends star Matt LeBlanc. 

Producers wanted Ant Anstead, a friend of James May, to join the motor programme when the former trio stepped down.

Ant revealed he took part in a 12-week audition process but ruined his chances at the presenting job after he wrote-off a Mercedes.

“I was asked to take around the track an AMG C63 Mercedes estate. This is a brand-new car worth around £85,000.

“It’s fantastic — very fast and everything you want in a car,” he told The Sun.

He continued: “Unfortunately I fluffed it and got it a bit wrong. I came off the track and the car hit the tyre wall full on the side.”

Ant admitted he had to “swallow some pride” after the incident at Surrey’s Dunsfold Aerodrome.

But despite being within touching distance of the Top Gear role, Ant now has a new project.

He is the host of Channel 4’s new show The World’s Most Expensive Cars which will see the presenters track down rare cars for a motor-specialist auction house.

One vehicle included in the show is a Ferrari worth up to £25 million.

Ant is also replacing Edd China on the Discovery Channel show Wheeler Dealers that shows the presenters on a mission to save old and repairable vehicles.

Top Gear airs Sundays on BBC Two at 8pm.

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