Rory Reid on joining 'Top Gear': 'It was like being a soldier parachuted into a war'

Rory ReidBBCRory Reid.

Presenter Rory Reid has compared joining “Top Gear” to “being a soldier parachuted into a war” given the scrutiny surrounding the BBC2 motoring show.

Reid signed up for “Top Gear” and spin-off show “Extra Gear” earlier this year and used his expertise to review some of the latest cars on the market.

But hostility from television critics and the level of press attention on lead presenter Chris Evans, who quit the show earlier this month, meant it was not an easy environment.

“Well it’s been a very intense experience, way more involved than I ever thought any show could be. The level of scrutiny that the show is under has just been absolutely immense,” he told

He added: “It was like being a soldier parachuted into a war, and you have some people that are on your side, and some people that are not on your side, and then you have the rest of them who are just watching to see what happens anyway.”

Reid said he was “very, very surprised” by the level of hostility given the scale of the task they were facing in taking over from previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.

“It’s not just a TV show — it’s an institution. It’s like if the Wu-Tang Clan took over from One Direction. The fans of One Direction would be like, ‘What the hell are we watching, who are these people?’,” Reid joked.

He admitted that he is yet to sign a new contract, but “the expectation is that we will continue without Chris.”

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