Revamped show’s leader stands down following poor ratings; reports suggest tension was mounting with co-host Matt LeBlanc

Top Gear’s lead presenter Chris Evans has quit after just one season of presenting the revamped motoring show.

Evans announced his move on Twitter this afternoon, saying: “stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough".

His departure comes after reports suggested there was mounting tension between him and co-host Matt LeBlanc. The show’s ratings have also dwindled since its first show in post-Clarkson, Hammond and May guise.

Evans concluded in his Tweet: “The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best."

He added in an official statement: “I have never worked with a more committed and driven team than the team I have worked with over the last 12 months. I feel like my standing aside is the single best thing I can now do to help the cause.

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“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.”

Top Gear’s director, 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. The new series has so far notched up more than 30 million views in the UK alone and has already been sold to 130 territories worldwide.”

Top Gear is yet to announce who will replace Evans as lead host. Linsey’s remarks suggest the cast might continue unchanged without Evans, with LeBlanc inheriting the lead role.

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Comments
41

4 July 2016
It was always going to be a challenging job for the lead presenter.

Whether you like him or not you've got to feel sorry for the guy.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

4 July 2016
You've got to be joking.... or Mother Theresa of Calcutta. How can anyone feel sorry for an arrogant, shouty, substantively dull Bore who thinks it's smart to announce to the general public he's just dropped nearly £ 300k on a 675LT whilst lying on a hospital trolley being deeply unfunny with Matt LB ? This proves that the vast majority of TV celebs think gurning and shouting are worthy substitutes for substance and journalistic experience honed over 20+ years. Thanks Chris: take your money and eff-off back to the One Show.....

BertoniBertone

5 July 2016
Trying to pick the somewhat poisoned baton up from Clarkson was never going to be an easy task and that's what you've got to feel sorry for. It was always inevitable that whoever got it was going to end up either being forced out or quitting by the end of the first series.

I agree his presenting style was somewhat questionable and he is a Marmite character at the best of times but that doesn't stop the task he had any less.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

4 July 2016
It was interesting that Le Blanc introduced the show for the final two episodes - with Evans standing next to him, smiling (no real hint of animosity in front of camera at least). This could be great for the show - they had a shaky start but it improved. Meanwhile, Evans takes the flak. Top Gear will go on, bigger and better.

4 July 2016
He was the wrong person for the job, so it's only right. Only Jeremy would hang around when everybody wants him to go, and I don't mean Clarkson. They still need to get rid of a couple more presenters though.

4 July 2016
…yet the silence there from his co-stars was deafening. Hopefully they'll just carry on without him, with increased screen-time for Harris and Reid alongside Matt Le Blanc. Now they just need to get rid of Eddie Jordan and we're all good.

4 July 2016
…yet the silence there from his co-stars was deafening. Hopefully they'll just carry on without him, with increased screen-time for Harris and Reid alongside Matt Le Blanc. Now they just need to get rid of Eddie Jordan and we're all good.

4 July 2016
mr_phillip wrote:

…yet the silence there from his co-stars was deafening. Hopefully they'll just carry on without him, with increased screen-time for Harris and Reid alongside Matt Le Blanc. Now they just need to get rid of Eddie Jordan and we're all good.

I don't find Sabine entertaining to watch either. I think 3 is the magic number, Harris, Reid, LeBlanc. Lose the Stig as well in my opinion, "some say he's had his day"

 

289

4 July 2016
I agree Leslie, I am a huge fan of Sabines driving talent having ridden the ring with her....she is not however a presenter.
They would be better scrapping the Stig as others have said, that has had its day, and using Sabine as the retained test track driver.
Eddie Jordan, just has to go.....the character they have designed for him is even more pathetic and annoying than Hamster was in the last few series. I am surprised he is prepared to be ridiculed in this way....he cant need the money!
Reid is the surprise of the new series for me as he just plays himself....very well.
Monkey Harris....no one is a greater fan of 'the Harris' than me....his ability as a seriously quick driver whilst being able to competently discuss the vehicle is first class. Just needs to calm down a touch.....someone has obviously told him to 'ham it up a bit'.....he doesn't need to...his style when working for Autocar and later his own site was spot on...press reset button please Chris, perfect as you normally are/were!
Matt Le Blanc I expected to be rubbish. Yes he is a bit wooden (he was in Cheers), but on the whole he has been OK....I guess he gives it the International touch, but we have no one on the team who is overtly controversial....something which Clarkson did oh so well (love or hate him).
The format of the show needs changing...quit the long tedious 'funny tests' they aren't funny anymore, just long and tedious & childish! I don't have a problem with the Rally X course.....the star in the car needed a reboot.
Chris Evans.....I feel sorry for him too Teg, I always thought he probably wasn't the 'right man' for this poisoned chalice gig. Not only is an almost impossible task, but his excitable nature on such a programme can be very wearing.....great - no, inspired in TFI and as a radio presenter....a real petrolhead who knows his motors and puts his money where his mouth is. He has my respect for trying, but he was always going to have a rough ride.
As for the idiots referring to the old Wooly Woollard days as golden, you have to be joking...as interesting as cardboard, with testers who never got over 50mph even in supercars. It wasn't even an anoraks programme because there was no effort to actually try the cars out. I remember a roadtest of either the BMW 850 or 840 csi where the lady test driving on a beautiful Alpine route was complaining of no where to hang her handbag whilst driving at 40mph -stunning !!!

4 July 2016
Can I just say that I totally agree with everything you just said. Someone else gets both the good and bad points of the new show!!!

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