Chris Evans, the new lead presenter of “Top Gear”, has announced he is quitting the show after just one series.
In a tweet, Evans said he “gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough.”
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
The show’s ratings last night slid to their lowest of the new series on Sunday night as Evans and his ensemble of co-hosts — including Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, and Sabine Schmitz — failed to match the audiences amassed by previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, who are now presenting their own car show for Amazon.
Clarkson was sacked from “Top Gear” last year for his involvement in a “fracas” with one of the show’s producers. Evans signed a three-year deal with the BBC to present the show in June last year.
Sunday night’s series finale on BBC Two pulled in just 1.9 million viewers — only 8.6% of the possible audience — as 6.6 million people instead opted to watch the Euro 2016 clash between France and Iceland, the BBC reported.
That number was down 800,000 on last week’s episode and far lower than the 4 million who tuned into the series debut — however, the overnight ratings number will not include the people who may have been waiting to watch the show on the BBC’s on-demand platform, BBC iPlayer.
A source told Business Insider that Evans had handed in his resignation to BBC Studios director Mark Linsey last week. The source said there are no plans to replace Evans at this time.
In a statement provided by The BBC, 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. The new series has so far notched up over 30m views in the UK alone and has already been sold to 130 territories worldwide.”
In a statement, Evans said: “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.”
Evans has been criticised by fans and critics for his shouty presenting style. The Guardian said of his debut: “Chris Evans needs to relax and stop trying so hard to be Jeremy Clarkson.“
His decision to leave “Top Gear” will not affect his other BBC commitments, including his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, CarFest, the Children in Need charity event, and the 500 Words story competition.
Earlier on Monday, the Metropolitan Police confirmed a woman alleged she had been sexually assaulted in the Tower Hamlets area of London by a man in the 1990s, The Telegraph reported, saying the allegations referred to Evans.
There has been no arrest and no person has been interviewed under caution in relation to the incident, The Metropolitan Police told Business Insider in a statement.
Evans has denied the allegations, referring to previous reports about the claims as a “witch-hunt,” The Guardian reported.
Filming for the second series of “Top Gear” is scheduled to start in September.
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