You remember Jeremy Clarkson’s fire and brimstone departure from BBC, and Top Gear, last year? Well, this is not about that, but it does concern the show formerly known as Top Gear, which now seems to be known as ‘New Top Gear’ among fans. You see, while Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond went their own way to present their new show, The Grand Tour, BBC forged ahead with Top Gear, featuring an all-new cast of presenters.
As quoted on TopGear.com, “Race driver Sabine Schmitz, YouTube star Chris Harris, F1 pundit Eddie Jordan, and motoring journalist Rory Reid will join Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc and of course, The Stig” as the updated cast for ‘new’ Top Gear, although this soon drew the ire of fans.
While much criticism can be attributed to long-standing fans of the show being unhappy with the fact that the big three — Jeremy, James, and Richard — are long gone, there was another popular grievance with a lot more direction. Chris Evans, according to the internet, was simply not doing it.
Weeks of public criticism, and rumours of both his being difficult to work with, and co-presenter Matt LeBlanc threatening to quit, all served to put Evans’ neck on the chopping block. But it was the plummeting ratings that acted as the final nail in the coffin. Opening with 4.4 million viewers, Top Gear’s audience fell to 2.34 million by episode four, and last Sunday’s dropped to an unprecedented low of 1.9 million.
It was these falling ratings that finally culminated in Chris Evans’ departure from the programme. This was confirmed via an online message Chris posted on his Twitter account, which read “Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best.” The BBC has confirmed that they will not be seeking a replacement.
Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best.
— Chris Evans (@achrisevans) July 4, 2016