Chris Evans has decided to quit BBC motoring show Top Gear after just one series.
The Radio 2 breakfast personality announced on Twitter earlier today (4 July) that he would be stepping down as host of the BBC Two programme. Evans took over as one of its key presenters following Jeremy Clarkson’s sacking last year.
“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 on Twitter
The 50-year-old faced intense media pressure after it was confirmed last year that he would be taking the reigns of one of the world’s most watched television programmes and one of the beeb’s most lucrative formats.
Since the brand new series with Evans hit our screens at the end of May, it has aired to a considerably diminished audience compared to series with Clarkson, with just 1.9m viewers tuning into the final episode last night (3 July).
“I have never worked with a more committed and driven team than the team I have worked with over the last twelve months. I feel like my standing aside is the single best thing I can now do to help the cause. I remain a huge fan of the show, always have been, always will be. I will continue to focus on my radio show and the allied events that it encompasses.” – Chris Evans statement
Chris joined Top Gear after Jeremy Clarkson’s contract with the BBC was terminated following a run-in with a producer. His co-stars James May and Richard Hammond then decided to quit.
Evans’ appointment was announced by the BBC in June 2015 with former Friends actor Matt Le Blanc named as a co-host shortly afterwards. The press have frequently speculated that Evans and Le Blanc have not got along during filming.
The new team also included Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris and Rory Reid.
“Chris is stepping down from his duties on Top Gear. He says he gave it his best shot doing everything he could to make the show a success. He firmly believes that the right people remain, on both the production team and presenting team to take the show forward and make it the hit we want it to be. The new series has so far notched up over 30m views in the UK alone and has already been sold to 130 territories worldwide.” – Mark Linsey, BBC Director of Studios