After just a single season of the new series of Top Gear, new host and studio anchor Chris Evans has announced he won’t be sticking around for any longer. Evans was criticised throughout the new series’ six-episode run for a number of reasons, including claims of on-set bullying and constant attacks from the British media.
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
Evans was hired to anchor Top Gear almost a year ago today, and was the centrepiece of a seven-person team — including The Stig — that had the difficult job of reinventing the most popular show ever on British television and one of the most widely-broadcast shows around the world.
Evans’ brash and loud presenting style came under fire from viewers through the series’ early episodes, with the first three the lowest rated ever on IMDB. The show consistently dropped in viewership over its six-episode run, falling from a 4.4 million UK broadcast audience to just 1.9 million by the time the final episode aired.
With Evans stepping aside, it’s likely co-star Matt LeBlanc — of Friends and Episodes fame — will take over the majority of in-studio presenting for the series, if it is renewed for a second restarted season by the BBC.
The Grand Tour, the Amazon Prime show that former Top Gear hosts Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May were poached from the British national broadcaster with, has a $280 million budget and will start filming studio segments in July, although the show’s start date is unknown.
The team also has a new motoring-focused social network called DriveTribe, set to launch in the last three months of this year. Clarkson’s quote describes it best: “I didn’t understand DriveTribe until Richard Hammond said it was like YouPorn, only with cars.”
Did you watch the new series of Top Gear? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.