Chris Evans Has Quit Top Gear

After weeks of poor critical reception from viewers and rumours of co-star Matt LeBlanc threatening to quit, Chris Evans has announced that he is to step down from his role as host of Top Gear. Announcing the news on Twitter, Evans said the he: “Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough.”

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From reaction in mainstream media to our own opinion polls, it’s clear that Evans was the least liked aspect of Top Gear for much of the show’s audience. There had also been numerous newspaper reports of Evans being difficult to work with behind the scenes, claims he branded as “Mad and made up,” just before the series started.

In a statement, BBC Studios Director, BBC Studios Mark Linsey said: “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.”

It’s not clear exactly what will happen next with the show. One option would be for Matt LeBlanc to be the only host, if the BBC choose not to directly replace Evans, which – judging by the wording of the statement from Linsey – might well be the case. Such a move would also free up space for Chris Harris and Rory Reid to appear more frequently, something which Top Gear producers may well be considering, since the pair have been well received by the audience and critics alike.

With Chris Evans at the helm, ratings for the show fell dramatically. After opening with 4.4 million overnight viewers, the show’s audience fell to 2.34 million by the fourth episode. The fifth episode fared better at 2.7 million viewers, but Sunday’s show was the least viewed so far with just 1.9 million tuning in.