The BBC has confirmed Top Gear is set to tour the globe as part of a live "theatre experience".

The motoring show will travel to 15 countries in the next 18 months with Jeremy Clarkson already signed up to take part.

Clarkson's co-presenters James May, 45, and Richard Hammond, 38, are also expected to participate in the series of shows, though local presenters of the show will host many of the overseas events.

The Top Gear will tour will incorporate "the drama of film and theatre with The Thrills and spills of stunts and special effects", according to the show's official website.

Adam Waddell, managing director of Top Gear, BBC Worldwide, said: "Taking Top Gear Live on tour is tremendously exciting and ties in perfectly with our plans to reach out to audiences around the globe."

The show will also visit London's Earls Court from October 30th to November 2nd and Birmingham's NEC Arena from November 13th to 16th.

Ticket sales will be used to fund BBC programming through BBC Worldwide, which sells the corporation's shows abroad.

It was confirmed earlier this week that police are investigating a photo which allegedly shows 47-year-old Clarkson using a phone while driving.

Two people claimed to have photographed the presenter talking on the phone while travelling at 70mph in a rare 1970s Grosser Mercedes vehicle on the M40 in Oxfordshire.

14/03/2008 16:33:12