Presenter calls it a day
Evans quits Top Gear as ratings plunge
Viewing figures slipped below two million for last night’s final episode of the first series under the new team.
He tweeted today: “Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough.
“I feel like my standing aside is the single best thing I can now do to help the cause.”
The other five presenters – Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid, Chris Harris, Sabine Schmitz and Eddie Jordan – will return for the next series, which is due to begin filming in September.
But Evans suffered a huge backlash for his style, particularly for shouting during the programme. There were also stories of disquiet behind the scenes.
The first episode was severely panned by viewers and the show struggled to recover.
Evans took over from Jeremy Clarkson as the main presenter following the BBC’s decision not to renew Clarkson’s contract. His fellow presenters James May and Richard Hammond chose not to renew their own contracts in protest and the trio signed a deal with Amazon Prime.
In a statement released via the BBC, Evans said: “I have never worked with a more committed and driven team than the team I have worked with over the last 12 months.
“I remain a huge fan of the show, always have been, always will be.”
Perry McCarthy, the original Top Gear Stig, told the BBC: “It’s sad for Chris but personally I was expecting such an announcement, I wasn’t expecting it this quickly but I did think that Chris would step down from it.
“Chris is an enormously popular radio presenter and TV show host but he hasn’t quite gelled with this show, he’s not really gelling with the viewers.
“It must be a little bit painful for him to receive this reaction from everybody and I don’t think he’d want to continue, I probably wouldn’t want to continue if I was getting constant criticism either,” added McCarthy.