Relaunch of TV series
Evans in firing line as Top Gear hits new low
It was meant to a rebirth, but instead the attacks on the new Top Gear must have left BBC bosses wishing they had quietly killed it off.
Fans of the show took to social media to tear into the revamped series, with new host Chris Evans taking most of the criticism.
Figures released on Monday reveal that it pulled in 4.3m viewers, which includes those who watched as it aired, but not those who may watch on the BBC’s iPlayer or catch up on the recorded show.
One analyst said this was the lowest debut for a Top Gear series in at least a decade. It is now in its 23rd series and was the most popular show in its time slot with a 23% audience share.
The lower viewing figures may disappoint Evans whom viewers accused of trying too hard to emulate his sacked predecessor Jeremy Clarkson, or adopting a child-like tone.
Many of them objected to his constant shouting and said it was just like a revamped TFI Friday. Another said it was fine – if the TV was switched to mute and thrown out of the window.
Many criticised co-presenter Matt Le Blanc, famous for his role as Joey in Friends, for being too wooden and having no rapport with the viewers.
There was criticism of the script and the slow pace of Le Blanc’s delivery.
Some were already missing Richard Hammond and James May who resigned in support of Clarkson with whom they have signed a deal with Amazon Prime to present a rival show.
Those who spoke in favour said that the new show took the cars more seriously and the show seemed to have more structure.
But there was general disappointment that it tried too hard to be a carbon copy of the original – without the gravitas, style and chemistry of the old series.
Clarkson was fired by the BBC in March after an “unprovoked physical attack” on one of the Top Gear producers, Oisin Tymon. He later apologised and, it emerged, asked the BBC to take him back.
There were some voices in support of the new show…