Celebrity chef and auto enthusiast Paul Hollywood. File picture: Facebook.

London - Paul Hollywood could be made the next presenter of Top Gear, as the BBC bids to stop him moving to Channel 4 with The Great British Bake Off.

It is rumoured that the 50-year-old, who is a self-confessed “petrolhead” is being primed to join the motoring show as a way of keeping him with the Corporation.

He has previously fronted a one-off BBC show about Aston Martins, and said earlier this year that he would be doing “more car programmes” in future.

Only last weekend he raced at the British GT Championship, further adding to his credentials, but the BBC insists that there are ‘no plans’ to alter the line-up on Top Gear, even though Chris Evans left after one series. And sources close to the star suggest he is keen to stay on as judge, and is in talks with Channel 4.

The future of Bake Off has been thrown into turmoil following the shock announcement earlier this week that the BBC has lost the rights to the show.

And Channel 4, which reportedly paid £75 million (R14.2bn) for a three-year contract, will be easily able to make back its investment with advertising sales, even if it only attracts a fraction of the show’s current audience, according to media expert Toby Syfret.

After presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins said they would be stepping down from the series, fans of the show have grown increasingly desperate for Hollywood and Mary Berry to reveal whether they will stay on as judges.

In response to rumours about Hollywood joining Top Gear, a BBC spokesman said that there are ‘no plans to change the current line-up’.

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